Gaspar Noé (Irréversible, Climax) surprises with this intimate split-screen drama about an elderly writer and his demented wife.

Please note that this film is in French and English, with Dutch subtitles.
Time & Tickets

With his latest film, outré director Gaspar Noé goes from enfant terrible to old age. Presented almost entirely in split-screen, VORTEX charts the decline of an elderly couple largely limited to their claustrophobic Paris flat. ‘The Mother’ – played by Françoise Lebrun – struggles with dementia. Through her eyes we see the confounding terror of her condition, in which a simple wander to the shops can feel like an inescapable nightmare. Legendary giallo director Dario Argento plays her husband (credited as ‘The Father’), a film critic chiefly concerned with cinema’s relation to dreams, and whose physical health – namely his heart – is similarly in decline. As relentless as ever, Noé eschews the extremes of drugs and violence present in his past work for the unique brand of havoc that only time can wreak, made clear in the film’s dedication: ‘To all those whose brains will decompose before their hearts.’

Gaspar Noé, France, Belgium, Monaco, 2021, 142 min. French spoken, Dutch subtitles. With Dario Argento, Françoise Lebrun, Alex Lutz, Kylian Dheret, Vuk Brankovic.