Irréversible, directed by Gaspar Noé, 2002
What's there to say about Noé's thumb in the eye of modern cinema than hasn't been said before? Even more than the graphic violence and prolonged rape scene, Irréversible is disturbing by virtue of its very construction. Noé's use of rumbling music, long takes, and a camera that manically jitters and swoops through each scene left me disoriented, to say the least. The camera's tilt-a-whirl trip also indicates when the story is traveling back in time, because it starts with Marcus (Vincent Cassel) and Pierre (Albert Dupontel) finding Alex (Cassel's real-life wife, Monica Belluci) being taken to the hospital after a brutal beating and rape and ends with a vision of beauty and promise that is heartbreaking.