Gaspar Noé watched “Gravity” while high on morphine

“The whole room spun; It was like being in a womb,” the director said. “I was so happy.”

Gaspar Noe lors de l avant premiere du film Vortex du realisateur Gaspar Noe au cinema Max Linder en présence de Gaspar Noe, Alex Lutz, Dario Argento et Françoise Lebrun.Paris, 11/04/2022 (Sipa via AP Images)


In 2020, Gaspar Noé suffered a brain hemorrhage that hospitalized and nearly killed the Argentine filmmaker. But the whole experience was not without its benefits.

“Seeing Gravity on Morphin was the best cinematic experience of my life,” Noé said in a new interview with The Independent.

While recovering in a Paris hospital, Noé watched Alfonso Cuaron’s 2013 space drama, which stars Sandra Bullock as an astronaut forced to survive on her own after being stranded in an accident. The film’s stunning cinematography, directed by two-time Oscar winner Emmanuel Lubezki, combined with the copious amounts of painkillers Noé was taking, apparently made for an incredibly memorable viewing.

He compared the experience to watching 2001: A Space Odyssey for the first time when he was seven. He credits the miracle that Stanley Kubrick’s film inspired him to become a director in the first place.

“The whole room was spinning,” he said. “It was like being in a womb. I was so happy.”

The ‘Vortex’ and ‘Enter the Void’ director recently spoke to IndieWire’s Eric Kohn about the brain hemorrhage that took him to the hospital and the many films he watched during his recovery.

“A year and a half ago I had a brain hemorrhage and almost died. I survived and miraculously I had no brain damage. But they advised me to stay at home,” he said. “Two months after I was discharged from the hospital, confinement started everywhere. So I spent about six months quietly watching Mizoguchi films at home. I watched a Japanese masterpiece or two every day. It was probably the most peaceful moment of my entire life.”

But it sounds like none of those movies compares to the experience of watching “Gravity” while totally stoned.

“I enjoyed this film so much,” he said. “That was a good part of being close to death.”

Interested in having the same experience but don’t expect to have a brain hemorrhage anytime soon? Noé suggests that “a load of ketamine” and “gravity” produce the same results.

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Chris Estrada

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