“Birth and death are extraordinary experiences. Life is a fleeting pleasure.” One of our favourite films from this year’s Cannes Film Festival back in May was Gaspar Noé’s superb horror-musical (yes) Climax. I remember sitting in a cinema on the Croisette early on a Sunday morning waiting for the delights the Irreversible and Love filmmaker had in store for us this time. We were not disappointed in the slightest. Well, a Climax UK release date has now been confirmed by Arrow Films for this September following a UK debut at August horror festival FrightFest. It is the closing night gala at the annual event on Augusty 27th.
Climax UK release date confirmed
Following a troupe of eclectic and diverse performers coming together in a grungy rehearsal space to prepare for a US tour, Climax introduces us one by one via the dancer’s straight-to-camera audition tapes. Gay, straight, black, lesbian, Hispanic, multi-national twenty-somethings, they captivate individually while seamlessly blending into a hypnotic collective in a dazzling dance number, electrifyingly shot with cinematographer, and regular Noé collaborator, Benôit Debie‘s contortionist camerawork.
Post-performance, the after-party begins, Emmanuelle (Claude Gajan Maull) serves up some sangria and Daddy (Kiddy Smile) hits the decks as they gradually relax and reveal their innermost thoughts, desires, cravings, their last chance to really relax before they hit the road on tour. Everyone of either sex wants to hook up with David (Romain Guillermic), and he’s very willing to play along, despite Selva (Sofia Boutella), who has no idea of his inclination, and Ivana (Sharleen Temple) and Gazelle (Thea Carla Schott) are having serious couple issues. There’s Rocket (Kendall Mugler), the queen of high heel dancing and a brother and sister duo veering between protective and promiscuous. Soon reality starts to slip out of focus and the nightmare begins. The celebratory punch-bowl has been spiked with hallucinogens and the real trip is about to begin, as some descend on a hellish odyssey to psychosis and others orgiastically reach euphoric heights.
Related: Climax review [Cannes]
Climax introduces a standout cast of non-actors and professional dancers – Voguers, Krumpers and Waackers scouted from the underground Paris ballroom scene and youtube dance videos, lead by actress and choreographer Sofia Boutella (Hotel Artemis, The Mummy) in a phenomenal star-making performance. Set to an almost continuous score of vintage techno, house and electronic tracks, the soundtrack starts the after-party with the likes of Cerrone and M/A/R/R/S before giving way to sinister tracks by Aphex Twin, Daft Punk and Dopplereffekt and the drug-induced pandemonium takes hold.
This film is, frankly, fucking awesome. My original review read; “An unrelenting assault on the senses – an acid-fuelled, relentless shocker that’ll stay lodged in your brain days after experiencing it.”
The Climax UK release date has been set for September 21st. Mark it in your diaries now. Here’s the trailer. Turn up your speakers.