It’s hard to believe that Climax, Gaspar Noé’s hallucinatory body-horror trip, was shot at the last minute in only 15 days – overwhelming and aggressive adrenaline runs across every inch of the screen from the get-go. Noé’s non-actor/professional dancers play performers in a 90s French dance troupe on a US tour. After a kitsch, charming introduction in which they describe their passion in polite audition tapes on an old TV (beside a knowing stack of DVD cult classics), a group rehearsal shakes things up from the inside out. The dancers shine as an eclectic and hypnotic collective, while each and every one is captivating in their own way.
After the dazzling dance number, Noé creates a comedy sketch-like setup that gives us time to get to know the young performers; their friendships, cravings, fears and thoughts on the evening are all laid out. There’s the guy who boasts about how many girls he’s slept with, the girl with the blonde afro and unshakeable pout, the brother and sister who seesaw between protective and promiscuous.
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