"I was born in Argentina, my parents came to France when I was twelve. I went to the Louis Lumière school when I was seventeen. At the end of my studies, I made a short film, I worked as an assistant, and directed an erotic short film which was screened anywhere because short film festivals are very prudish. [...] When I was a kid, my mother took me to a psychoanalyst for a psychological assessment. He asked me if I liked horror films, I said yes. I was told that I answered well and that it was a sign of psychological balance. Thus, I have not stopped to watch some!"
(La Revue du Cinéma #484)
Gaspar Noé was born December 27, 1963 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He spent his childhood between his hometown and New York. His father, Luis Felipe Noé, is a "very playful" painter and his mother, a "politicized social assistant".
He landed in Paris when he was twelve. At seventeen, after having studied philosophy, he entered the Louis Lumiere High school in order to study Cinema. At nineteen, he was graduated but did not want to start working; thus he went to the Faculty of Philosophy at Tolbiac (Sorbonne). In 1985, he became the assistant of the argentinian director Fernando Solanas, on his film "El exilio de Gardel (Tangos)" and directed his first short film titled "Tintarella di Luna". About this 18-minutes long film, in color and black & white, shot in 35mm Scope, he said:
"This film has been circulating from festival to festival and was broadcasted on television. I think that it was one of the first shorts purchased by Canal+. It was broadcasted on the air just before "Eraserhead" (David Lynch, 1977) which was a consecration to me. This success made me want to continue. While I was taking courses in philosophy as a free auditor, I started to write screenplays, including a first draft of "Carne"”.
His father, Luis Felipe, and himself, play a role in the short. Lucile Hadzihalilovic, which he just met and who will become his editor, comes to visit Gaspar Noé on the shoot of "Tintarella di Luna".
Two years later, in 1987, he is the camera operator of the first short film directed by Lucile, "La première mort de Nono" and directs her second short film, "Pulpe Amère" (16mm - 1:37 - Color - 6 minutes).
In 1988, he is again assistant director on Fernando Solanas' "The South".
In 1991, Lucile Hadzihalilovic and Gaspar Noé create Les Cinémas de la Zone that remain up until now, their production company.
“We discovered that we shared a desire to make atypical films and decided together to create our own society, les Cinémas de la Zone, to develop our projects. Beyond all the major disadvantages of self-production, we enjoy greater creative freedom. We make our movies as we want without worrying if they will sell or not. Even if we could pay the consequences in our daily lives.”
Then, he started to shoot “Carne” with Philippe Nahon, (Color, 40 min - 16mm blown-up to 35mm) that lasted two years. In order to survive (financially), he accepted to assist shootings of commercials and video clip. “Carne” was awarded by the price of the International Critic's Week of the Price of the Youth at Cannes Film Festival.
“Lot of people suggested me to adapt it in a long version. I wrote it but it was of course refused by several medias decision-makers”.
Gaspar Noé intended to produce a long version of this movie but did not managed to gather enough money.
From 1995 to 1998, he shot a fake TV show called “Une expérience d’Hypnose Télévisuelle” broadcasted during the french TV show “l’Oeil du Cyclone” on the french private channel Canal+.
Then, during the same year (1995), he shot an ad against hunting: “Le lâcher d’animaux d’élevage”.
"It's against hunting. I didn't like it. They propose to me to direct it. I did it in one day [...] There was not much money. I got paid to do it against hunters. I'm not for hunting". (Dark Star Rising by Shade Rupe, p.399 - Headpress)
Gérard Courant shot it for its “Cinématon”. In 1996, he shot his first video clip “Je n’ai pas” for Les Frères Misère (Mano Solo’s band) of which exists two official versions. He also appears in the credits & acknowledgments of Matthieu Kassovitz’s movie “Assassin(s)”.
During the same year, he interpreted a voice in Laurent Tuel’s movie “Le Rocher d’Acapulco”. In 1997, he appeared in the movie of his friend Jan Kounen “Dobermann”. His character is a Kebab seller.
In 1998, he came back with a pornographic short film ordered by the french Ministry of Health: “Sodomites” in which appears Philippe Nahon, Mano Solo and Lucile’s short movie “Good Boys Use Condoms”. (She also participated to this campaign).
"I took the anal subject, because I thought that I needed the hardest one [...] We were shooting on 35mm. I was surprised because we got film stock for free, because they said: We want to help you to fight against AIDS. And we got also the camera for free. But, otherwise, the cost of the short was $40,000." (Dark Star Rising by Shade Rupe, p.398 - Headpress)
The same year, he began to shoot "Seul contre tous" (“I Stand Alone”) (Color - 93 minutes - 16mm blown-up to 35mm), with Philippe Nahon who had already acted in “Carne”. Fives years were necessary to achieve this project that had to be self-financed due to several refusals from televisions.
“I have to stop the movie in order to find film stocks before being able to shoot again. Philippe has to thread the same clothes stiffened by sweat to shoot again”.
An unused video sequence showing Stéphane Douot, the brilliant director of “Star Suburb”, will become the short film “Intoxication”. At the same time, he is camera operator of Lucile’s medium-length film “La bouche de Jean-Pierre”.
“The thirty days long shooting will be spread over two years and a half, partly because of Lucile’s movie “La bouche de Jean-Pierre” that we produce simultaneously. When we manage to achieve her movie, I start the assembly of mine”.
Thanks to the stylist Agnès B.‘s financial support, he managed to achieve it. Presented in Cannes Film Festival in 1998, the movie caused a scandal because of its ideological ambiguity. It is in the same time that the idea of its movie “Enter the Void” was born, inspired by “Bardo Thödol”, the Tibetan Book of the Dead.
Still in 1998, he shot the clip “Insanely Cheeful” (Color - 4:07mn, according to the different versions) for the band Bone Fiction and then started to shot in 1999 another video clip “Je suis si mince” (Color - 16mm - 5:25 mn) of the french singer Arielle.
In 2000, Gaspar Noé appears in the credits & acknowledgements of Virginie Despentes & Coralie Trinh Thi movie “Baise moi” and in 2001, in the acknowledgments of Marina Zenovich’s documentary “Who is Bernard Tapie ?”.
Whereas the pre-production of “Enter the Void” was ready to start, Gaspar Noé was told in 2001 that the shooting could began only from the end of the year. In order stay free and independent and moreover to continue to be able to express his own ideas, he decided to start the shooting of a less ambitious movie instead of shooting commercials all along the summer. This movie will be “Irréversible” (Colors - 16mm blown-up to 35mm - 96 mn) with Vincent Cassel, Monica Bellucci and Albert Dupontel that was released in 2002 with an unsuspected great success that will hide his past project “Enter the Void”. Besides, Gaspar Noé makes a cameo appearance as a regular customer of the BDSM gay club le Rectum.
“We shot the movie using three pages of scenario. The financing was made quickly thanks to the notoriety of Monica Bellucci, Vincent Cassel and Albert Dupontel. Whereas nothing was written, even not the title, we obtained 27 millions cash and were free for the realization. People still do not understand how such a movie has been shot. I believe that it is due to the absence of condemnable reference mark of my three pages script that has hidden the violence of the movie that should have been rejected”.
Because of two extremely violent scenes (a murder, with head-smashing, made using a fire extinguisher and a rape), “Irréversible”, presented in Cannes, created a scandal.
“People are so afraid of the destruction of others, that when they attend acts of violence, there are two types of reaction. On the one hand where we want to intervene, and on the other, when we put ourself in withdrawal. Woman are more shocked by the violence of the scene with the fire extinguisher whereas men leave the theater during the rape scene. It is a reflex of dominating male: they refuse to be identified as a woman who is being raped.”
In 2004, Lucile directed her first feature film, “Innocence” that she will dedicate to Gaspar. The same year, He shot two TV spots against AIDS for a public awareness campaign (INPES). But, refusing to yield to the diktat of its partners (they wanted him to make a third short presenting the African population under a caricature and racist point of view), he broke the contract and signed his work under the nickname “Roberto Keller”.
In 2005, “Enter the Void” is announced by Pathé Renn Productions. The shooting seemed to start quickly. However, nothing happened. This year, Gaspar was in Cannes and the french private channel Canal + gave him carte blanche: he shot three short experimental films, “Eva” which focus on the Festival and which has as protagonist the actress Eva Herzigova.
In 2006, Gaspar Noé went in Burkina Faso for 10 days in order to shoot his short film documentary for his project “8”, on the initiative of LDM Production and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP ; later, UN will leave the project because of an artistic conflict with LDM). This short movie titled “SIDA” (AIDS) shows the daily life of a Burkinabé sicks of HIV. In the mean time, Gaspar is rumoured prepareing a long version for this short called “HIV”.
During the same year, he shot a pornographic short film “We Fuck Alone” (Colors/B&W - DV - 23 mn) for “Destricted” which is an ongoing project of films that explore the line where art and pornography intersect. Besides, “We Fuck Alone” is a reference to the international title of “Seul contre tous” which is “I Stand Alone”.
For almost ten years Gaspar’s third project “Enter the Void” has been announced. During 2006 Cannes Film Festival, Gaspar’s new producer Wild Bunch took the opportunity to relaunch the production of the movie. (Gaspar went to the Festival for “Sida” and “Destricted”). Unfortunately, “Enter the Void” shooting was announced and then delayed many times.
In March 2007, Gaspar Noé shared - for the first time - his feelings to the press (Dedicate #11) and mentioned financial problems which surrounded the feasibility of his third film, presented as very ambitious.
However in August 2007, the magazine “Premiere” announced the imminent shooting (for September 2007) of “Enter the Void”. However the casting seemed to be still undefined… Finally, the shooting began on October 19th, 2007 in Tokyo, Japan. The casting is exclusively english speaking: Nathaniel Brown and Paz de la Huerta, in the roles of Oscar and Linda, brothers and sister. End of the 1st part of Japanese shooting: December 15th, 2007. Back in January 2008 and later this year. The shooting is secret but anyway, the French press ignores Gaspar Noé…
At the end of April 2008: the shooting continues in Canada to be completed in May. In November, Gaspar directs again Vincent Cassel in the spot of the new Yves Saint Laurent fragrance, “La Nuit de l’Homme”. According several sources, the shooting is darker than the final product...
April 2009: “Enter the Void” is finally selected in Cannes but the copy is unfinished (no credits and the VFX are still raw). This selection is followed by several other selections in many international film festivals.
In May 5th, 2010, “Enter the Void” is released in France. It will be screened during two months in only thirty rooms for 50,000 spectators which is a little more than "Seul contre tous" (“I Stand Alone”) (1999) but much less than “Irréversible” (2002) which gathered 600,000 spectators. The dvd & blu-ray of “Enter the Void” are released in December 2010 by Wild Side. The extras are lights because Gaspar Noé doesn’t want to comment his work.
In the wake of the international promotion of “Enter the Void” (the U.S. release is set for September 2010), Gaspar might be preparing his fourth film, "an erotic film that is erotising. Not an art film with erotic sequences, but erotic movie in the background, where sex is not simulated. And in 3D, if the testing techniques which I will proceed are significants.”
In 2011, he shot an exorcism in Cuba (March) for the omnibus movie “7 Days in Havana” (Siete días en La Habana). In May, he’s in Cannes and while Nicolas Winding Refn obtained the Best Director Award for “Drive”, the danish director thanked Gaspar for helping him about “head smashing”. The same month, Gaspar is interviewed by an Hungarian website (origo.hu) in which he talked about his Cuban short, his projects (an erotic movie), and revealed that his mother suffers from Alzheimer's disease.
From 2012 to 2013, he shot 3 videoclips (for SebastiAN, Nick Cave and Animal Collective). It should be the last video works before his next movie. At the end of 2013, he shoots the cover for Sky Ferreira and participate to an exhibition in Argentina with his sister and his father: NOE 3D.
In 2014, Gaspar is announced as director in a football-themed omnibus film: "Short Plays". Some weeks later, Wild Bunch announces Gaspar's next movie will be shot in Paris in June 2014. It will be "a sexual melodrama about a boy and a girl and another girl" called "LOVE".
In May 2015, LOVE 3D is officially selected in Cannes Film Festival. The public screening is set in July of the same year. In spite of a French polemic emerging about the age limitation, LOVE 3D obtains more seats sold than Enter the Void.
In several interviews, Gaspar told he would be interested in shooting a documentary (maybe in Africa, like for HIV) or an Oculus Rift ("a virtual reality head-mounted display") movie. Wait and see...
In 2017, Atlas V, a french company dedicated to VR productions announces that Gaspar Noé will make a "VR experience" with them.
Early 2018, we learn by producer Vincent Maraval that Gaspar Noé should shoot his next feature during the same year, without giving further informations. Two months after, we unveiled informations we've found on Tax Shelter about a movie entitled "Psyché" directed by Gaspar Noé, about dancers who are trying to find out who drugged them and why. Vincent Maraval corrected those informations by saying that Gaspar Noé is actually shooting a 2-parts documentary about dance and is about to make a feature about Darknet.
Biography by Frédéric Polizine
Translated from French by Nicolas Rapp
Gaspar Noé's filmography:
— 2019 - LUX ÆTERNA
— 2018 - CLIMAX
— 2016 - THE END (trailer)
— 2015 - LOVE
— 2014 - SHOOT - Short Plays (short)
— 2010 - ENTER THE VOID
— 2009 - 42 - OneDreamRush series (short)
— 2006 - WE FUCK ALONE (DESTRICTED) (short)
— 2006 - SIDA/HIV (short)
— 2005 - EVA (3 shorts)
— 2004 - PROTÉGE-MOI - Placebo (videoclip)
— 2002 - IRRÉVERSIBLE
— 1998 - SEUL CONTRE TOUS (I STAND ALONE)
— 1998 - INTOXICATION (documentary short)
— 1998 - SODOMITES (short)
— 1991 - CARNE
— 1987 - PULPE AMÈRE (short)
— 1985 - TINTARELLA DI LUNA (short)
Photos by Gaspar Noé
> Gaspar Noe were the producer and the artistic director of “La Bouche de Jean-Pierre” (1996) and was a Camera Operator on “La Première Mort de Nono” (1987) (where he met Lucile) and “Good Boys Use Condoms” (1998), respectively means-length and short films of Lucile Hadzihalilovic.
> Born in 1961, she studied art history and Cinematography before becoming editor and producer (Carne, 1991) and then director.
Before “La Bouche de Jean-Pierre”, she directed “La Première Mort de Nono” (1987). Then, she staged “Good Boys Use Condoms” (1998), a short film (10 minutes) from a series of pornographic short films made for fighting against AIDS which Noé was involved in with “Sodomites”. In 2004, she directed “Innocence”, which was dedicated to Gaspar.
> Gaspar Noe was assistant director on “El exilio de Gardel (Tangos)” (1985, 120 minutes, 35 and 16mm - Argentina / France) and on “Le Sud” (1988, 117 minutes, 35 and 16mm - Argentina / France), both of Fernando E. Solanas (Buenos Aires, 1936). “El exilio de Gardel (Tangos)” was awarded of the Special Jury Prize (Venice Film Festival) in 1885 and in Biarritz Film Festival the same year, and finally, won the Grand Coral - First Prize of Havana Film Festival in 1988.
“Le Sud” won the Best Director Award (Cannes Film Festival 1988).
> Gaspar Noe makes a cameo appearance in the sequence of the Rectum in Irréversible ; he also appears as a kebabs seller in “Dobermann” (Jan Kounen, 1997), and also interprets the voice to the character of Jean-Pierre in “Le Rocher d’Acapulco” (Laurent Tuel , 1996).
> Gaspar Noe was filmed by Gérard Courant for “Cinématon”, a series of film portraits showing a personality in art, culture, politics or entertainment, in a single close-fixed and silent, in which the protagonist is free to do whatever he wants. Cinématon was started Feb. 7, 1978 (No. 0 was filmed Oct. 18, 1977). Format: Super 8 - Mute - Colors - Each portrait (including credits) lasts 3 minutes 55 seconds. Total time: 142 hours.
Gaspar Noe is the portrait No. 1749. It was done in Paris June 23, 1995 at 0:20 p.m. Lucile Hadzihalilovic’s portrait is No. 1750 and Jan Kounen No. 1751, were respectively shot at 0:25 p.m and 0:40 p.m in Paris.
In the same way (with Lucile Hadzihalilovic and Jan Kounen), Gaspar Noe appears in another work of Gérard Courant, “Itinéraires Héréditaires”, a filmed diary.
> Gaspar Noe also appears in the credits & acknowledgments of Baise-moi (Virginie Despentes & Coralie Trinh Thi, 2000), in those of “Who Is Bernard Tapie” (Marina Zenovich, 2001) and in those of “Assassin(s)” (Matthieu Kassovitz, 1996) and last but not least Short Film by Jacques Audiard, “Normes Françaises”.
> In 2011, he’s in Cannes and while Nicolas Winding Refn obtained the Best Director Award for Drive, the danish director thanked Gaspar for helping him about “head smashing”.
— 2013 - 9 MOIS FERME (Albert Dupontel - cameo: le détenu chauve #1)
— 2008 - DANTE 01 (Marc Caro - cameo: détenu dangereux)
— 2001 - WHO IS BERNARD TAPIE ?/QUI ÊTES-VOUS, BERNARD TAPIE ? (Marina Zenovich - remerciements)
— 2000 - BAISE-MOI (Virginie Despentes & Coralie Trinh Thi - remerciements)
— 1998 - GOOD BOYS USE CONDOMS (Lucile Hadzihalilovic - cadreur)
— 1997 - DOBERMANN (Jan Kounen - Figuration)
— 1996 - ASSASSIN(S) (Matthieu Kassovitz - Remerciements)
— 1996 - LA BOUCHE DE JEAN-PIERRE (Lucile Hadzihalilovic - cadreur/directeur artistique/producteur)
— 1996 - LE ROCHER D'ACAPULCO (Laurent Tuel - voix)
— 1988 - LE SUD (Fernando E. Solanas - assistant réalisateur)
— 1987 - LA PREMIÈRE MORT DE NONO (Lucile Hadzihalilovic - cadreur)
— 1985 - TANGOS, L'EXIL DE GARDEL (Fernando E. Solanas - assistant réalisateur)
GASPAR NOE'S WORLD From Carne to Seul contre tous (2000 - Petit Grand Publishing - Ciné Carnet N°02)
Gaspar Noé on Wikipedia :