Intoxication (Gaspar Noé, 2002, France)

Intoxication is a 2002 short documentary by Gaspar Noe. The focus of this film is Stephane Drouot, a friend of Noe. Aside from being a common collaborator with Noe, Drouot is best known for a 1983 short film called Star Suburb. Shot on grainy film stock, Intoxication opens in a dirty kitchen, with Drouot introducing us to his life with HIV, and the medication he needs to take to survive (ingested while smoking a cigarette). He discusses a past film he made with another collaborator who was also HIV positive. He discusses how he learned from this collaborator that he could make films that are more blunt, commonplace, and visceral.

Drouot waxes more on the art form, before blurting out - "Words are complicated, f*ck!" Comically, after decrying the limitations of the word, Drouot tells us that he wrote a book. He then talks about his mother, and also about making art that is not appreciated by most people. "An insane detour on their path to self-realization, a path that I don't share." He then laments not having a producer who will accept his obsession with details, such as the weather. The film ends with Drouot looking at the camera, and then the usual Gaspar Noe-style title card flashes on the screen. 


Intoxication is unusual for Gaspar Noe, as the director is not known for making documentaries. Perhaps he admired and respected Drouot, and wanted to capture his passion for the filmmaking process. Perhaps he pitied Drouot and wanted to show what happens during the process of illness, but also the process of creative stagnation. It's not entirely clear what the intentions were behind this short film. As such, it is a rather cryptic work that does not yield anything particularly interesting, and there is very little on the Internet about Druout himself. 


5/10

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