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Standing up to Censorship
by Rich Cline page 3 of 3

irreversible ...back FULL OF LIFE. Filming each of the 12 scenes in one single take was a considerable technical feat. Besides being limited to 21-minute sequences (the length of a film reel), No didnt put any limitations on a scene. He just rolled the cameras and let the actors create their characters and dialog. The shooting script was only three pages long with 12 scenes in it. Id just be on the set with the actors and wed see how it would be. Wed bring ideas and talk and say if it sounded fake. We never knew whod do what, and that made it full of life. I orchestrated the movie more than directed it.

Cassel says, Its the only movie Ive made where I had stage fright every day because I never knew what would happen. I liked it, and Id do it again.

Each sequence was shot between six and 20 times. No says the hardest part was trying to control hundreds of extras in the party scene. But we didnt stop shooting if there was a problem. One time you could see all the crew reflected in the mirror, but we could just erase it and fix it afterwards, because of the advances in technology. There were a lot of accidents and we did digital work afterwards to clean it up.

He also points out that he used technology to highlight the films moods and emotions. Over the course of the film theres a progression from a very shaky camera to smooth steadycam, and the colours go from red and yellow to blue. And we actually added a low-frequency sound to the first half of the film just to make the audience feel uneasy.

CENSORSHIP IS INSULTING. Obviously, censorship wasnt in Nos mind as he made the film. His basic principle is that you cannot clean out the violence of real life when you make a movie. Bellucci puts it this way: If I had kids Id let them watch this film. I dont think children have to sit in the house and eat sugar and chocolate all day and think that life is just pink. Life is pink, but life is also black.

No finds it insulting that a government censors films. Theres a violent rape in Straw Dogs, and the whole feeling with that scene is really twisted, he says. But people are mature, so why should the British government think its people are more stupid than other countries? I dont know what could be stopped by censors today unless they want to get into a power game. This film isnt a speech on violence. Its about how people get into violent situations and just go further than expected.

No says his goal was to make a life-affirming film about how people dream of finding a future but then theres an animal reality. This film is life-affirming in the sense that its about the perpetuation of the species.

The BBFC will use different criteria when the film is submitted for a video certificate.

See also Rich Cline's REVIEW OF IRREVERSIBLE

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Text 2003 Firststar Ltd Site 2003 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall

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