Why Yes, That’s Supposed to Be Semen Coating the Frame in the First NSFW Trailer for Gaspar Noe’s ‘Love’

The teaser trailer for Gaspar Noe’s Love starts with elegant eroticism: beautifully captured (also beautiful) bodies writhe within letters spelling out the film’s loaded title. These rapturous moments are also bolstered by a score that romantically (and somehow without corniness) includes a beating heart. 

But then, you recall that this also happens to be the 3D film in which (purely visual) ejaculate spews out of the screen toward the audience — and that its depiction of the physical aspects of love isn’t supposed to be merely beautiful, but that it (even if it’s inadvertent) bears an element of confrontation. And just as you’re recalling this fact, the score is taken over by a harsh — almost horrific — buzzing, as semen starts pouring down the frame like blood might in a trailer for a very low-budget horror film: the trailer, itself, has finished.

The very NSFW teaser below does exactly what a teaser trailer should — to a more literal extent than most. With the known explicitness of the film mostly trapped behind the titular letters, it turns the notion of a “teaser” trailer into a double entendre. Its intent is to be beautiful, and a little unsettling — and perhaps more unsettlingly for some — arousing. And it leaves the audience in the uncomfortable position of coming to terms with art that’s not just supposed to move them emotionally — but that’s also doing so sexually. Just as a horror movie induces fear, Noe seems to want to induce passion (a notion otherwise relegated to what we consider to be “porn” rather than “cinema”). The director told Indiewire back at Cannes:

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 film — which seems to pretty simply follow an American through his sexual awakening with two women in Paris — does not yet have a release date in the States (but it was picked up by Alchemy at Cannes, so a date is presumably imminent); it opens on July 15 in France.

Watch the trailer:

Via Indiewire.