INDIEWIRE made an interview with French-Argentine director Gaspar Noé about his 3D movie LOVE. Without no doubt, the relevance of the film are the lots of explicit SEX scenes, performed by the three main characters. LOVE is presenting real sex over and over again, until watching it feels like the most natural thing in the world. It’s what the male lead Murphy (Karl Glusman) describes as “sentimental sexuality”. That is sex within a romantic relationship, as opposed to the workmanlike couplings of hardcore pornography.
During the interview Gaspar Noé reveals some interesting facts, how the hardcore scenes were prepared by the celebs and how the sex of LOVE were shot.
Shooting Sex in LOVE
"Gaspar Noé on Shooting Sex in LOVE and Why He Loves His Bad Reviews"
By Nigel M. Smith, Indiewire May 23 2015
‘Gaspar Noé may be the only director in history who could make a two-and-a-quarter-hours-long pornographic film in 3D and then have it legitimately described as his least offensive picture to date.’ - The Daily Telegraph
I'm curious to know what came first when you were devising this movie. Was it the story you tell in LOVE, or the boundary-pushing depiction of sexuality?
I just wanted to portray sexual passion as much as possible, because in real-life it's very common, but you don't see it properly portrayed onscreen. The last movie where I thought love was truly presented was in "Blue is the Warmest Color." Because for them it's a battlefield full of joys and pain. That whole thing that makes the process of finding love like an addiction to some kind of weird chemical that your brain is releasing, and you get addicted to serotonin and dopamine, endorphins.
Obviously, people are going to be drawing parallels between you and the main character in the film, given the fact that he's a filmmaker and he has that line about why he wants to make a movie that features real sex. Just how autobiographical is LOVE?
More than half of my friends are in the film industry, because I hang out with directors or visual effects makers, so I decided that I would do a movie about the kind of people that I am or I know, and it's a mix. It's not autobiographical; there are many thoughts that he has in his mind that are not mine, because they're his redneck thoughts. But at the same time, the guy's not a hero and not an antihero, he's just a regular guy with a good thematic taste, or sometimes with a very strict behavior. It's maybe some parody of my friends and myself.
His character's voiceover narration in LOVE is so solemn and quiet in delivery. What went into that choice?
We tried his voice in a more emotional way, but then you can't feel natural reading the text or playing the part. I guess that inside your brain the thoughts are atonal. To say it was flat with no breath and no energy, then your voice can transmit some emotions. I don't think the inner thoughts really can contain a shaky voice.
Did you actors set up any boundaries with you prior to shooting, or were just willing to do anything you threw their way?
It's weird, sometimes they had issues about things that I cannot understand. For example, at the point the couple buys a dildo [in the movie].
I thought they were going to use it.
I thought they would, but the actress said, "No way, I'm not going to use a dildo in front of a camera." For her, that was a vision of degradation or humiliation. She said, "No way I'm going to put a vibrator -- or whatever -- inside my pussy."
How did you work around these types of issues when they arose?
She wasn't an actress, she was just a girl. She used to be a model, and she said yes to the movie as a life experience. She had no career plans, and nowadays she doesn't know if she wants to make another movie or not. She's living the present time.
Who went about choreographing the sex scenes?
Who went about choreographing the sex scenes?
There was no choreography.
There was no choreography whatsoever? Even in the threesome scene that runs for what felt like ten minutes?
No, I just put them in the position and say, "Okay, looks good, okay, start the scene."
What kind of direction did you give them when they got started?
"Let's go." I was very hands off when we were shooting. Once you put the people in the right positions it's okay. Let's start. They know how to do it. I'm not a very director director.
Do you storyboard your films?
No. I don't pre-write the dialogue and I don't storyboard. There is a situation that we improvised it together on set.
Moving on to the 3D aspect of LOVE. What appeals to you about the experience?
It makes things more real, more intimate. You feel like you are puppets inside a box, because it's a rectangle with faces inside.
Was it a particular 3D experience that inspired you to shoot "Love" in 3D?
No. I really like GRAVITY for its 3D, but also in HUGO by [Martin] Scorsese. There was a long shot -- like a closeup of [Georges] Méliès facing the camera and on the big screen that seemed kind of monumental. You seriously should be careful when you do a 3D movie not to cut too fast or to overedit because it's mind-exhausting. Once you fill the space, it's better to let the scene last.
Does LOVE have to be seen in 3D?
I think it's much more emotional in 3D. I've never seen the 2D version.
Read full INDIEWIRE Interview with Gaspar Noé
Hardcore Sex Isn't the Craziest Thing About Gaspar Noé's 3D LOVE
Cannes: Gaspar Noé Calls 3D 'Childish,' Wants 12-Year-Olds to SeeLOVE