I rewatched this for the first time since seeing it in the cinemas, on an outdoor screening, and the surroundings were excellently mood-enhancing. The wind kept making the canvas wave, which made it even trippier, and twice the train rushed by in the background at a perfectly timed moment.
The first time I saw it I was extremely tired and kept falling asleep during the last half, and have since had the impression that I missed large parts of it, though watching it now pretty much deflated that completely, as I didn't see anything I didn't remember. Probably the floaty, associative nature of it made it seem like more time had gone by.
It's still a striking film, but it had less of an impact on me this time around, seeming much more transparent than the first time - the simplicity of the premise and characters not quite sustaining the visual acrobatics, and, this time at times painfully clear, the bad/uninspired acting. I kept thinking how more powerful it would be if I was actually invested in the people (that would be "the ultimate trip"), and how strange it was that a film that is so, on the surface, intensely POV doesn't give much of an impression of its lead. The POV becomes a cosmetic touch instead of something that really makes us know the person, and then feel for him. Noé can do sudden heartbreaking intensity really well, but in the smaller scenes, with just a few people talking, it becomes obvious that is virtuosity is very one-sided.
But, ultimately, this is a film nothing like anything else, except Noé's other films.