Vortex takes us into the everyday life of an aging couple coming to terms with old age, dementia and death. This new film from Gaspar Noé is far from the rest of his filmography: in this intimate drama, told in split-screen, he ponders existential questions with visual restraint.

Vortex is the story of two partners who live in close, but separate, parallel universes, as they struggle with old age and dementia. As they wander around their over-furnished and crowded apartment, they must reconcile themselves to thoughts of death and the impending doom that awaits them. Gloomy prospects and despair become part of the story, as the couple, played by Dario Argento and Françoise Lebrun, sees their bond slowly dissolving as the disease progresses. The use of a split-screen becomes a visual metaphor for the way dementia erodes a person's ability to communicate with their loved ones. And to give the individual as much space as possible, Gaspar Noé chose to film with two handheld cameras that follow the main characters throughout.

Unlike the director's previous films, characterized by explicit scenes of sex and violence, and an often charged, hallucinogenic visual style, Vortex is a contemplative film with a minimum of artifices. Gaspar Noé started working on this film after he suffered severe brain haemorrhage, which he nearly died of.


Gaspar Noé (b. 1963) is a director and producer born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but his family emigrated to France in 1976. He is known for his stories with a good dose of violence, drugs, sex and trauma, with films like Enter the Void (2009), Climax (2018) and Irréversible (2002). 


2019 Lux Æterna
2018 Climax
2015 Love
2009 Enter the Void
2002 Irréversible / Irreversible
1998 I Stand Alone

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