Saw this on Friday. It was a late showing, and I was a little sleep-deprived with a bit of a headache. Perfect way to see this film. The story element of it is oddly uninventive, but the visuals and sheer audacity of the film are what make this film. It really is quite an experience, especially on the big screen, where the images fill your vision, and you can't pause it or look away. Its an unsettling and beautiful film.
Noe cut an entire reel out of the film.
SPOILERShttp://www.avclub.com/articles/gaspar-noe,45554/AVC: So youíre cutting the movie for American release?
GN: Actually, I like this version as it is, but I signed a contract that if the movie was over two hours 20 minutes or whatever, I would do a reduced version. The solution I found: Instead of doing another edit of the movie, is just I managed to cut the reels, I managed that the movie could work without the reel number seven.AVC: What happens in reel seven?
GN: Thatís after the abortion scene, you see the abortion, and the camera flies through and hits the fetus and gets into another dimension or whatever, and he comes out, and the guy is calling, thatís where reel number seven starts. You see the girl in the kiddie-land, sheís depressed, and then the guy says, ďWell, can you bring me my stuff? I want to see LindaĒ on the phone. And then thereís the orgy with the two girls, and then Mario tells Linda that sheís fired, and then you see him waking up at the morgue. Thereís all these dreams where he wakes up and doesnít wake up, and then she wakes up and says ďOh, I had a dream about my brother. We were was sitting at the morgue.Ē And then she throws the ashes in the sink. And at that moment when the camera gets into the sink, thatís where reel number eight starts, so in the reduced version, they will have the nine reels. I donít know if theyíre going to play the full-length version in some theaters, or only the eight-reel version. But otherwise, youíll see when the camera hits the fetus, it comes out in the, you see some cockroaches, and it comes out in the cemetery. Itís not a controversial reel. Thereís nothing real important. Just the moment he wakes up disappears. I like it as it is, but I donít mind. I would say, my conviction is that the people like the movie for its decadence, not that itís 17 minutes shorter, that it makes any difference.AVC: Itís literally unchanged other than that?
GN: In some ways itís more dramatic, because reel number seven is kind of minimal, and otherwise you go from the abortion to Linda coming to Victor and then going to the plane, and then you got to the sex hotel, so itís not a censored version. Itís just a shorter version. I like it much better the other way. But it works. People who see the short version donít notice thereís anything missing at all. I donít know, maybe itís like if you do a trip, a mushroom trip or whatever; if you enjoy it, you want it to be long. They say that if youíre coming down from your mushroom trip or your acid trip, you have to smoke tobacco, because it re-enhances and you can keep on going.