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Cinema Junkie by Beth Accomando

Irreversible

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Monica Bellucci in Irreversible (Alliance Atlantis)

Gaspar Noes Irreversible (opening March 14 at Landmarks Hillcrest Cinemas) is a film of extremes and the same can be said of the reactions that its provoking. People either run for the exits or applaud its in-your-face bravado.

With his first film Carne, a short made in 1991, French director Gaspar Noe announced his intention to shock audiences. And he remained true to this course with the subsequent works The Butcher and I Stand Alone. But his no-holds-barred approach to violence and repellent subject matter immediately drew criticism. His films were condemned as gratuitous and sensational. Yet some critics hailed his works and defended his right to offend. The debate over whether his films are provocative art or exploitative trash continues to rage with his latest film, Irreversible, which sent half the audience at Cannes fleeing for the doors.

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