Herbie Chrost

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Last Active 08-25-20 8:06 pm
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My Journey into New French Extremity

Idk why I’ve been doing this to myself. Full list with ranking full blurbs may be found here:
1Big Black
Songs About Fucking


Date: Sometime in high school, couple years ago

Director: Gaspar Noé
Run time: 2 hours 6 minutes

*Cumshot into the camera* Art!

This is porn. Don't kid yourself. The whole movie is on pornhub, all the sex is unsimulated and in every position imagineable, the acting is porn tier, and there's enough jizz to fill up a box and a half (maybe two, but I'm not watching this movie again to make sure my calculation was right when I saw it long ago) of a $5 deal box from Taco Bell. Also that fucking movie poster, if you haven't noticed it yet.

Don’t remember if I watched the whole thing.

1.2/5 (+0.2 for Gaspar Noe having the balls to release the film in 3D just for the novelty of the cumshot)
2Soundtrack (Film)
Climax (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)


Date: June 22, 2019

Director: Gaspar Noé
Run time: 1 hour 36 minutes

Having become (intimately hehe) familiar with his prior works now, I can confidently say this is clearly Noe's best work. All of his strengths distilled into a visceral 95 minute work of art. I still do genuinely believe people who call this boring are probably just desensitized from his past work. That last half is harrowing. Maybe not as much as his past work, but harrowing nonetheless.

His signature experimental camera work and long single takes is phenomenal. The fact that the resolution is the best that he's worked with makes the experience all the better. The opening dance sequence demands repeated viewing, if only to appreciate all the different things going on. Really, one of the best films I've ever seen.

Also, I’m never listening to Rollin & Scratchin by Daft Punk and Windowlicker by Aphex Twin the same again.

3Saul Williams


Date: June 25, 2019

Director: Pascal Laugier
Run time: 1 hour 39 minutes

There are three movies that have made me cry: Forrest Gump when I was a young 'un, Requiem for a Dream never fails to make me cry, and... this movie. I got so fucking upset by Lucie killing herself that I just let the tears come over. The way the film switches up for the last third or so was honestly pulled off well, although I do understand how it doesn't work for a lot of other people. I can also see how people view the ending as unfulfilling or pretentious, but I found the film engaging enough that I found the philosophy very interesting to think about. Will I ever watch it again?... probably not, but I don't regret watching this at all.

4Throbbing Gristle
20 Jazz Funk Greats

Enter the Void

Date: June 26, 2019

Director: Gaspar Noé
Run time: 2 hours 41 minutes

Massive disappointment. Yes, technically and visually it's a masterpiece. But holy shit can these people not act to save their lives and it doesn't help that there is a strong emphasis on drama. That 40 minute flashback sequence was a slog to go through and interrupted the flow really badly.

Someone told me I had a "cursed take" of the film and defended it like muh Gaspar Noe's films are more about putting you into a trance than provide some coherent watching experience or some shit. Yeah I know, this wasn't my first Noe movie. He just can't direct drama and it doesn’t help that I find the acting comparable to this

Also, *cumshot into the camera* art! [2]

2/5 (+1 for the technical and visual masterpiece it is)


Date: June 26, 2019

Director: Julia Ducournau
Run time: 1 hour 38 minutes

This was... not what I expected when I watched it. A teen coming of age drama more than anything, really. There's even a great, hilarious twist on the awkward main character transforming into a badass overnight sequence. The cannibalism people like to talk about really just underscored important developments to the plot, restraint that is pretty uncharacteristic for French Extremity. BUT when there is gore, hooooo boi it is baaaaaad.

Ending could have been stronger, but it didn't ruin the film for me like seemingly a lot of people say it did for them. Also, wtf is Drake and Lorde doing in this movie? My boi Aubrey Graham making a wise move going back to doing acting on the side.

*No, Lorde and Drake aren’t in the movie. Watch it yourself and you’ll understand*

The Land of Rape and Honey


Date: June 27, 2019

Director: Gaspar Noé
Run time: 7 minutes

Of course the only place I could find this thing was pornhub

Origin of Symmetry

High Tension

Date: June 31, 2019

Director: Alexandre Aja
Run time: 1 hour 29 minutes

Y'know, I was genuinely disturbed for like a solid portion of the first half. Then it got a bit tiresome. I can't comment too much of the story now cos honestly it didn't leave much of an impact. The dubbing fucking sucks. The gore is cool. It's done well, really. The saturated color pallete made me think of Michael Bay so that made the watch a bit more enjoyable when I started thinking of it as Michael Bay directing French Extremity. But that twist destroyed all momentum the that it had built and ruined the film. There's a review on the RYM page with spoilers that deconstructs why it really makes no sense and is a massive disservice to the plot.

Also, wtf is Muse doing in the soundtrack. I can't listen to New Born the same now smh.

8Thomas Bangalter
Irréversible (Original Soundtrack)


Date: June 31, 2019

Director: Gaspar Noé
Run time: 1 hour 33 minutes

Sometime in high school, couple years ago, I watched the first like half hour of the film. I exited the window and thought never again. It damn near traumatized me from fire extinguishers, actually. Having endured the previous movies... I thought I might as well finish the film. The 10 minute rape was the first time a film made me puke. Which was probably aided by the fact that the whole damn movie has a frequency played which is inaudible to human ears and induces vertigo in listeners (courtesy of one of those guys from Daft Punk, having done the soundtrack). I certainly felt queasy during that whole Rectum sequence. Calms down a fair bit in the last 40 minutes or so but honestly I didn't get much out of the reveal towards the end. I was too numb by that point.

Also, thanks for the seizure for the last 2 minutes of the film, Noe.

The Marble Index


Date: July 1, 2019

Director: Xavier Gens
Run time: 1 hour 48 minutes

I couldn’t help but notice how American it looks, particularly with the choppy editing and excessively shaky camera. Maybe I just haven’t seen enough foreign or French Extremity films. Anyway, this film is every -ist and -ic you could think of: sexist, xenophobic, misogynist, homophobic, racist, misanthropic, the list goes on.

I still can’t quite tell how serious or self-aware the movie is. It’s so sincere in its edginess but so over the top it often crosses the line into hilarity. For fuck sake, a character dies in a gas chamber amidst cuts to a neo nazi lecturing another character as he’s being tortured about some bullshit about Africa, slaves, and whatever I tuned out the subtitles at that point.
The Marble Index

I couldn’t quite even tell if it’s satire or if it’s trying to make some pretentious political statement because it’s so busy revelling in its own cruelty. Maybe I’m just not informed on French politics. Or maybe the director just wanted to have French Muslims dehumanized by neo nazis. I’ve seen so much torture, murder, sex, gore, incest, cannibalism, and abortions from past movies at this point I got bored by the last third of the film. Overall the directing was just poor and one dimensional with not much in the way of momentum.

I’m definitely starting to get desensitized by these movies.

11Chelsea Wolfe
Hiss Spun


Date: July 2, 2019

Directors: Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury
Run time: 1 hour 20 minutes

The single goriest and most terrifying French Extremity movie by far... Actually, it’s the single goriest and most terrifying film I’ve ever seen. I can’t count how many times I squirmed and covered my eyes. The birth scene at the end is borderline unwatchable. I really like that the villain is a human being who can hurt, bleed, and feel anxious when forced to think on her feet like anyone else in the film.

Really, what made this work so well is how well thought out the villain and conflict is: believably mysterious until the reveal (which was done well), has the same goal as the protagonist, and possess the ability to think two steps ahead of everyone. The score is also really good and never felt intrusive, it very much contributed to the mood of every scene and heightened the frightening stuff that much more.
12Chelsea Wolfe
Hiss Spun

I really appreciated how short the film is as it wastes no time and paces itself well with its admittedly thin plot.

With the exception of the stupid fucking zombie which really takes you out for its screentime, everything in the film, really, is explainable and set up clearly which I very much appreciated. One of the only other complaints I have is how Godawful the CGI is, but thankfully it’s kept to a bare minimum.

It’s funny how affected by this I was considering I thought Frontière(s) [Frontier(s)] had desensitized me from violence. Also, there are certain scenes and angles that made the lead actress look like one of my friends; whether it unconsciously contributed to the horror is something I’ll figure out.


We Fuck Alone

Date: July 2, 2019

Director: Gaspar Noé
Run time: 23 minutes

The third Gaspar Noe entry on this list that I could find in its entirety and decent quality on pornhub. And it’s just like the title suggests. It’s people getting themselves off or fucking. But the catch is, there’s a baby wailing and people screaming in the background and it’s got an irritating strobe effect that just makes it virtually unwatchable. At least Sodomites was amusing and a quarter of the run time. Best part was the seizure warning at the beginning which ironically still had the seizure inducing strobe effect.

Not even worth a minute of your time... or the 5 painful minutes I wasted.

A Moon Shaped Pool


Date: July 2, 2019

Director: Romain Basset
Run time: 1 hour 34 minutes

Ok first of all, the dream sequences are stunning. A fact which makes the poor script and thin plot all the more disappointing. It’s like someone skimmed a Wikipedia article on lucid dreams and proceeded to word vomit a script. I’m almost as disappointed by the fact that this was nowhere near as disturbing or creepy as I’ve seen reviews make it out to be. Maybe I’ve officially become desensitized. It really just doesn’t realize its potential in being surreal and unpredictable until the final dream. Such beautiful cinematography for shame.

Maybe it was just too arthouse for me. I feel like a lot of things just went over my head despite how heavy handed the symbolism was.

2.5/5 (+0.5 for cinematography)
15My Chemical Romance
Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge

7 Days

Date: July 3, 2019

Director: Podz
Run time: 1 hour 51 minutes

There’s really not much to it. It’s just torture porn. Some slightly provocative dialogue about the ethics of torturing a person who’s raped/murdered someone near and dear to you here and there. I can compliment the creative decision to use no music throughout the entire movie. It creates a very tense atmosphere throughout and makes the torture harder to watch. On top of that, dude is a surgeon which adds a level of creativity to the torture.

I’m not sure if the screenwriter was actually aware of this fact or just came up with something for the torturee to say to make the dude stop, but often time rapists were abused by an authority figure in their adolescence. At least, that was what I learned in AP Psych in high school, if I remember correctly.
16My Chemical Romance
Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge

Overall, it’s a very slow movie that doesn’t pace itself too well with its near 2 hour run time. There’s only so much a movie can rely on moody atmosphere and philosophic riffing before it gets a bit boring when there isn’t torture on screen. First full length film in this list that I quit watching because I got so bored by it.

17Etienne Sin
The Paradox Divide

The Divide

Date: July 3, 2019

Director: Xavier Gens
Run time: 1 hour 50 minutes

More of the same as Frontière(s) [Frontier(s)] but with some of the worst everything I’ve ever seen: acting, dialogue, characters, sfx, costumes, set design, every goddam thing. How this manages to make Frontière(s) [Frontier(s)] look competent is this film’s greatest achievement.

The posters are misleading too. Hardly nothing sci-fi about this. It’s just assholes trapped in a fallout shelter amidst nuclear attacks or some dumb shit. The movie takes so long for the characters to predictably fall into depravity that it’s not even worth it. Make that 2 movies that I quit watching in the middle of.

Fuck this.

0.6/5 (+0.1 for a surprisingly decent film score)
Dangerous Days


July 3, 2019

Director: Coralie Fargeat
Run time: 1 hour 48 minutes


Now this is what I’m talking about! Ridiculous and exploitative but self-aware and fun. The cinematography is fantastic and vibrant but never looks unnaturally saturated just to stand out. It very much adds to the film’s character along with the desert setting (which it takes full advantage of, insect wildlife and all). There are even certain camera work and scenes in the beginning (coupled with the color pallete) where it seems to parody the likes of Michael Bay with the way it objectifies Jen. The rape scene itself is like the antithesis of the notorious rape in Irréversible; short and not very graphic, although still quite disturbing. Movie’s a brutal gorefest to make up for that.
Dangerous Days

The movie isn’t afraid to have a sense of humor as well. Also, what a refreshing film score with its use of modern electronic music! Anyone who knows me knows how much I love synthwave.

The film is not only a brilliant twist on a convention in a genre that often... doesn’t treat its women well but a middle finger to the track record of misogyny in cinema. A rather satisfying revenge power fantasy against hyper masculinity. Seriously, Jen is a fucking badass! But most of all, this is a very recent film and in a movement and genre that people generally say died off a while ago. Considering that, Revenge is almost like a love letter to French Extremity’s peak with how much cues it takes from past films. Just like with music, however, a fantastic film can still exist while being derivative; the small adjustments made do make all the difference.

This and Grave [Raw] promise an exciting future for female directed French Extremity!

In Utero

Rape Me

I... uhhhhh... yeah... I really don’t know what to make of this movie. It’s like... The closest thing I can compare this to, incidentally (and possibly ironically), is Revenge? Directed by a woman (albeit two directed this one). Exploitative and violent. A rape and revenge against men but this time killing everyone but the two who raped them?

But like? The sex is so graphic and gratuitous that the film is on pornhub? The production value, acting, and editing is so abysmal that it’s so bad it might be good or kinda funny? It’s so apathetic about anything and everything it may as well be the most nihilistic French Extremity movie I’ve seen? It’s so angry at everything and nothing that it’s somehow the most misanthropic French Extremity movie I’ve seen?

Only thing I’m certain about is that this was the most shocking entry I’ve seen so far. Not the most disturbing or frightening, but definitely shocking.

Also *Cumshot into the camera* Art! [3]

21David Lynch
Eraserhead OST

A New Life

Date: July 4, 2019

Director: Philippe Grandrieux
Run time: 1 hour 40 minutes

Read the full review here:

22Ol' Dirty Bastard
Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version

Man Bites Dog

Date: July 5, 2019

Directors: Benoît Poelvoorde, André Bonzel, and Rémy Belvaux
Run time: 1 hour 35 minutes

About midway through I realized that what I had been watching was the censored version, running at 92 minutes instead of 95 so me being irritated and trying to find an uncut version with subtitles probably affected the score. I really need to do my research better with these kinda things.

Anyway, wow a New French Extremity movie in The Criterion? I can definitely see why it’s included. But as with many docu/mockumentaries, I just found it a bit middling. A lot of the humor went over my head as well. Maybe I’m too young or American to get it. For what it does, it does very well tho, especially with its budget.

23Xiu Xiu
Kling Klang

Anatomy of Hell

Date: July 14, 2019

Director: Catherine Breillat
Run time: 1 hour 13 minutes

*Cumshot into the camera* Art! [4]

Surprised I couldn’t find this film on pornhub. I just have to say, I was not prepared for this movie. A fucking hour of the director telling the audience some philosophic riffing on human sexuality and misogyny using big, descriptive words and a beautiful nude woman who seduces a gay man. Or something. Whatever the point was, I shouldn’t have to spend the entire run time putting more effort into reading and academically understanding the subtitles than watching it and pondering the subtitles afterward. I usually hate using this word and avoid describing pieces of art with it, but fuck was this movie pretentious. The director got a gay man to watch a straight woman while she was “unwatchable” and she got me to watch an unwatchable film.
24Xiu Xiu
Kling Klang

The part where the dude puts lipstick on her vagina lips before proceeding to rail her was was one of the most disgusting, pretentious, heavy handed attempts at a “message” I have ever seen. A close second would be the guy licking up her period blood after fingering her. Gave up watching this piece of shit after that.

25Wolf Alice
Visions of a Life

Secret Things

Date: July 14, 2019

Director: Jean-Claude Brisseau
Run time: 1 hour 52 minutes

Read the full review here:

26King Diamond


Date: July 15, 2019

Directors: Xavier Palud and David Moreau
Run time: 1 hour 13 minutes

Kinda like with Frontier(s), I couldn’t help but notice how American the film’s style was with its choppy editing and excessively shaky camera. However, this film adds an extra layer of American by desaturating the color pallete and upping the contrast. Anyway, home invasion movies generally disinterest me and... this movie just exists. Last 15 minutes of the film were pretty fucked but this is far and away the tamest thing I’ve seen dubbed New French Extremity. I could put this on for my parents and they’d get some good natured scares out of this without asking me wtf I made them watch because, frankly, there’s nothing much graphic about it. The whole “based on true events” gimmick made me roll my eyes and, well, after looking a bit there isn’t much out there that substantiates that these events really did happen. Actually, nothing much in this movie really happens.

27Hello Kitty Suicide Club

My Mother

Date: July 17, 2019

Director: Christophe Honoré
Run time: 1 hour 47 minutes

Even typing these words feels like a waste of energy on this “film”. (No I’m not offended by the incest, I’m offended by how pointless and worthless this whole thing is. An all around insult to intelligence and film as an art.)

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