Climax | Crooked Media
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December 12, 2023
Ruined with Alison Leiby and Halle Kiefer

In This Episode

Halle and Alison try to keep track of over twenty dancers in danger to ruin Climax.







[theme music]: If scary movies give you dread. Keep you up late night in bed, here’s a podcast that will help you ease your mind. We’ll explain the plot real nicely then we’ll talk about what’s frightening, so you never have to have a spooky time. It’s Ruined.


Halle Kiefer: Hello. Welcome to Ruined. I’m Halle.


Alison Leiby: And I’m Alison. 


Halle Kiefer: And this podcast where we ruin a horror movie just for you. 


Alison Leiby: Just for all of you. Halle, I got to ask. How are you doing? 


Halle Kiefer: I’m good. You showed me something right before the podcast, but I can’t talk about it. Now that’s all I want to talk about. 


Alison Leiby: Well, we can talk about it. 


Halle Kiefer: Alison. Showed me—


Alison Leiby: There was no way for me to introduce it to you on the podcast. 


Halle Kiefer: No, no, you’re right. You’re right to do it. You were right to do it—


Alison Leiby: Seeing the videos and then, like, you couldn’t really watch the videos on the pod, but I thought it would be—


Halle Kiefer: Why don’t you say what what you sent me?


Alison Leiby: Well. Whenever you’re listening to this, I’m sure that it has faded out of the news cycle. But the the videos of Enrique Iglesias in concert just on the ground, face down [laughter] humping the stage for 45 seconds in the middle of the stage, not while singing, barely while music is playing. I’ll be honest. Like it’s upsetting. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s really something. Please take a look. Take a gander. I mean, I’m sure there’s not a lot of going on in pop culture, so I imagine this will actually become much bigger than it would otherwise. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, right. 


Halle Kiefer: This is going to be on the blogs. It’s gonna be on Twitter.


Alison Leiby: It’s evergreen I think.


Halle Kiefer: And that is, I think, tough. It was. And this is an observation that our engineer Kat made. It’s seeing a video and see, of, Enrique Iglesias, an incredibly handsome man who could sing. 


Alison Leiby: He seemed so sexy when he hit the scene and was fame, and was like kind of like at the peak of his fame, like it was just like, oh, this like guy, like he’s all his songs are like, so sensual. Like, it just felt like, Oh, this guy fucks.


Halle Kiefer: Like I love Tonight I’m Fucking You, which is like, it’s so on the nose and not sexy. And yet somehow he pulls it off, you know what I mean? 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And then to see this and in Kat’s words, and to know in that moment that this gay, guy, can’t fuck. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: At all. And I see that as someone that I think my I immediately empathize and I think, well, there. 


Alison Leiby: Of course. 


Halle Kiefer: There be if I did that the world’s sure thousands of people watching me would say, well, this woman can’t fuck. And that’s where I’m at with it, where I’m like, oh no. 


Alison Leiby: I think it’s even worse because you and I, people can think whatever they want, but we’re not making a career on. 


Halle Kiefer: Right. 


Alison Leiby: Making people think we can fuck. 


Halle Kiefer: We have a certain charm, but we’re not. Our career is not being hot and we could fuck. Thank God. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. And his was so it’s just this even greater disparity between the reality of him just kind of like slowly dry humping the stage. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s so distressing. 


Alison Leiby: It’s really upsetting. Go just search Enrique Iglesias on TikTok. And like, this is what’s going to come up. So.


Halle Kiefer: And I do think this ties actually beautifully ties into the movie we are doing this week, which I want to Alison, I, of course, want to check in with you, but we are doing a dance movie. It is a dance horror movie. 


Alison Leiby: Oh that’s right. 


Halle Kiefer: So and I couldn’t have enjoyed this movie more. 


Alison Leiby: This could be the whole movie, A24, option these videos. [laughter]


Halle Kiefer: And it’s just sort of like seeing this dance. We’ll talk about what dance is in the movie. 


Alison Leiby: Yes agree. 


Halle Kiefer: And like, I really was wowed by this. 


Alison Leiby: We keep coming back to Enrique as we move through the movie. And find places where it’s— 


Halle Kiefer: We have to, because it throws into extreme comparison, that clip of of Enrique and I please again, we encourage you to look it up and. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: The dancing in this movie before we get in there. Alison, how are you doing? Is there anything— 


Alison Leiby: I’m fine. I mean, the Enrique I discovered the Enrique videos and that, you know, so I’ve kind of been dealing with that for the last couple of—


Halle Kiefer: You got to process—


Alison Leiby: 36 hours. 


Halle Kiefer: You got to process it. 


Alison Leiby: Also, it is like cold now in New York, which I do kind of love, but it’s also very dry, which has its own like ramifications on my health and like the inside of my nose is sharp all the time and there’s just. 


Halle Kiefer: Horrible. 


Alison Leiby: Like but a new thing that I guess it didn’t really I didn’t recognize it last year because Rizz was so new to the apartment. But he and I keep like static shocking each other. [laughter]


Halle Kiefer: Oh, that’s really funny. 


Alison Leiby: It’s cute, but like, we’re both always, like, really surprised. And so we’ll be like [sound effect] it’s really cute.


Halle Kiefer: That’s adorable. 


Alison Leiby: Little Rizz. 


Halle Kiefer: But that makes sense. It’s so, it’s so it gets so dry in New York it’s either extremely humid or completely dry. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, right. You’re either drenched in sweat or like your skin comes off in one piece. Those are the two weathers. But he’ll be like, you know, rolling around on the carpet and like snuggling up on the couch. So there’s just like a lot of friction there. And then, like, I’ll pet him and it’s like— [sound effect]


Halle Kiefer: That’s so very cute. Well, let’s get into it. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, We got a lot of we’ve talked about some dance. We’re going to talk about it a little bit more. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: And this is, of course, our theme for the month is, party movies. 


Alison Leiby: Party movies. 


Halle Kiefer: So a horror movie where it centers on a party and we are doing a movie. If you if you’re a horror person, you’ve seen this movie. I haven’t seen it again. I think I just have a weird extremely weird even watching this. I didn’t want to watch it because then I would have seen it. And I don’t know what that is. [both speaking] Yeah, something in my personality goes like, I don’t know if I’m in the right mood to watch. I have to be in the exact right mood to watch it. And then, of course, I had to watch the recording. And I absolutely fucking loved this movie.


Alison Leiby: Oh, good. I’m glad. 


Halle Kiefer: And this, of course, is Climax by Gaspar Noé. And I’m going to apologize in advance. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, boy. 


Halle Kiefer: This is set in France. 


Alison Leiby: Oh man.


Halle Kiefer: And people have French names and it’s their speaking for the most. They have some English, but mostly French. And people are already taking me to task, as they should for my pronunciation, and attempt at anything. 


Alison Leiby: Butchering of French accents and names and—


Halle Kiefer: In the movie Raw recently—


Alison Leiby: Raw just came out and yeah, I’m going to continue to hang you out to dry and not help. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: You know and I appreciate that. And you know, I also want to say beforehand, before we get into this movie, which again, I absolutely loved, this has a very large cast. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: I have talked about this. I have shared some of my medication journal. I have medicated. I journey. I am medicated for ADHD to a certain degree at this point. Boy, I’ll tell you what, this was too [laughs] many people for old Halle to keep track of and then let me see hang on. One, two, three, four, five, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, 11, 12, 24 people in this cast.


Alison Leiby: I in no way going to be able to. 


Halle Kiefer: I know. 


Alison Leiby: Follow this. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. And I want to be clear. Another thing I did that I only realized as I was preparing to record is that I was relying and you can’t trust Amazon Prime. And I actually I literally do watching this. I’m like, I have to just be renting or getting these movies from other places and not be relying on Prime because I’m always like, It’s available on Prime I’ll rent it. But I do. Amazon is an evil company and I don’t want to give them money. And also they are horrible at like, you know, they have like the cast names—


Alison Leiby: Yeah when you pause it and stuff. Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And so it took me literally up until right now to be like, wait a minute, a lot of these names are the names of the actual performers and not the character names. 


Alison Leiby: I mean, I think for a 24 person cast, do whatever you want to do. I will not remember one of them anyway. So.


Halle Kiefer: Absolutely. And I want to be clear. This is a movie that I think, first of all, it is a horror. So it is gory. There are horrifying moments. I would say it’s probably one that more people could watch because a lot of it is dread and sort of a stylistic sort of venturing into like physical, hellish space, which I really needed because again, I want to do like a whole episode where I go on like a I have a treatise about how I think, how flat and synthetic and boring like horror movies are. And like especially in America. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Right now is it’s not like you see how venture capital trickles down into every genre. And now that it’s hit horror—


Alison Leiby: Film. Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Hard. Which is why we have like The Exorcist Believer where we have Evil Dead Rises, which could be good movies. And this is not on the filmmakers or the writers, obviously, who I know and trust could do phenomenal work is that when you are making a movie, everything has it has that look, it has that. Like. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: I don’t know. You’re shooting at West Elm or something. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And this movie was so stylistically well done. 


Alison Leiby: Ooh fun. 


Halle Kiefer: So beautiful like, so I thought it was just like such a breath of fresh. 


Alison Leiby: Breath of fresh. 


Halle Kiefer: And then also, it is about dance. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: No, I always like to have Alison. 


Alison Leiby: Have you said the name of the movie yet? 


Halle Kiefer: Its Climax. Sorry did I? I thought I did. 


Alison Leiby: I don’t know. 


Halle Kiefer: That’s right. I just at the Climax by Gaspar Noé. And this is a kind of movie where, like, they basically sent people they shot in 15 days. A lot of the cast are dancers that are out of like the Vogue scene in France, and so they’re sort of first time performers. They’re all great in this, some people less so than others. But I feel like everyone did an excellent job considering most of them are not professional actors. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, that’s great. 


Halle Kiefer: But it’s also like the kind of movie where like I hope it doesn’t come out later that like something horrible happened because there is something a bit like, great. I took a bunch of people who it’s their first time in the industry. 


Alison Leiby: Industry. 


Halle Kiefer: Also, many of them are Black and some of them are Black and trans like. It’s like a first time Black and brown novice cast that is being that is shooting a horror movie in a single location. So it’s just one of those things where you could just see like, I hope everything was above board. 


Alison Leiby: Yes, yes, yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And everyone feels good about everything. And got paid and everything because it’s like we like the movie is about something that happens in that exact situation. So watching it, it’s like, okay, but I hope the actual version of this. 


Alison Leiby: Is not reflective of the plot of the film. Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: And. Based on what I could find, like I haven’t read anything saying that it was like, I mean, I only see this is like watching this. It’s like, oh, I’m we’re watching a version of what could be happening on film sets traditionally. So. But anyways, fucking great movie and we always like to have Alison watch the trailer. What do you think of the Climax trailer, Alison?


Alison Leiby: I mean, I can see what you mean. Like of it being actually like, it looks cool. It feels cool. Like it’s. They thought about it. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. 


Alison Leiby: In a way that I appreciate, though. Also scary. 


Halle Kiefer: Mm hmm. 


Alison Leiby: [laughs] There was something about like, there’s like one seat. It’s not even like a gory, scary scene, but there’s like a scene of like, they just do, like, a really close, tight shot on, like somebody scooping up punch from the punch bowl with, like, chunks of fruit in it. And it’s like in any other setting that is like absolutely not a scary image in any way. But like, in this, I was like. What is happening? 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: I don’t like it. 


Halle Kiefer: There’s a lot of really excellent. And this is the first Gaspar Noé movie we’ve done. There’s a lot of really excellent use of sound, like there’s at one point we’re sort of focusing on something and then we just hear a liquid splatter on the ground off camera and we like, don’t find out exactly what it is. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: There’s a lot of those excellent moments. I just thought, this is incredibly well done. Again, I don’t mean to compare it to like recent horror movies. I just I appreciated everything that this was giving that so many movies right now can’t give, unfortunately. And just really, really appreciated it. Alison how scary do you find the concept of losing control? 


Alison Leiby: Kind of the opposite of Enrique Iglesias humping the stage. He seemed very in control of th— 


Halle Kiefer: Too much control? [both speaking]


Alison Leiby: Ultimate control, ultimate. Very, very scary. Very scary. And not only that, but like if other people have lost control, being around them is scary. If if all of you are out of control, then it’s like. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Reality becomes destabilized because like nobody’s. Yeah, it’s I don’t like it. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. I’ve been thinking recently a lot about like, I think especially white cis womanhood is based so much in control and we are taught so young that we have to be in control. And a lot of it is sexual control. Like we we’re, we’re sort of responsible for men’s sexuality and our own like we have to constantly and it’s like we’re we are control of the home. It’s like we’re in control. And when we’re out of it, it’s our fault and will will be punished for it. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Which is true unfortunately, of everyone, like it’s every group also has this experience. But like how fundamental I think it is to like our ideas of well I guess the body in general, you know and that’s that’s I really enjoyed this movie it’s a very queer movie so I feel like I was in my queer feelings watching this. 


Alison Leiby: Nice. 


Halle Kiefer: And again everyone, please watch this movie. I would say I if you can and I think you can because this I feel like a lot of this is more of a taking you—


Alison Leiby: Vibe? 


Halle Kiefer: Vibe. It’s a vibe that’s taking you in to experience. Not that there aren’t horrifying images. We will get into them, but it is more of a vibe based movie, which I really appreciated. And then, Alison, would you like to guess the twist in Climax? 


[voice over]: Guess the twist. 


Alison Leiby: I’m going to guess that what is proposed as like a dance company that everybody wants to join. And there’s like some hazing. Like this is the first night. This is all based on knowing nothing about the movie because the trailer is mostly a vibe. It’s. They’re actually not a dance company. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, okay. 


Alison Leiby: And they are trying to murder everybody and perhaps frame somebody who is one of the dancers for that murder. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay, great. I love this. All right, let’s begin ruining Climax. We see a woman covered in blood like her arms streaked in blood, wearing a leotard and boots staggering through the snow until she collapses, screaming. 


Alison Leiby: Oh boy. 


Halle Kiefer: And howling, and she sort of claws her way through the snow, sobbing, leaving these bloody trails behind her. Alison. It’s 1996. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, is the movie then, or is we just seeing that now? 


Halle Kiefer: We are. We we see text on screen. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: To our makers who are no longer with with us. You have seen a film. You have seen a film based on real events that happened in France in winter 1996. Now we also get the credits right away. The like the technical credits like this stuff that would be at the end of the movie. 


Alison Leiby: Interesting. Yeah, yeah.


Halle Kiefer: We are getting at the beginning, so and it’s telling us you have just seen this. So we are beginning at the end and now we’re going to cut to the beginning of the film and sort of the events. And this is based on loosely based on a true story about a French dance troupe apparently was at an after party have their has their. Punch. Spiked with LSD. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: In real life, things kind of ended there. Like it ended up being fine. And there’s that very classic story of, I believe, James Cameron in the cast of Titanic. I believe someone also put LSD in the punch. Does that sound right? 


Alison Leiby: Oh yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Right. That sounds or acid or sound like some of the hallucinogenic or—


Halle Kiefer: I believe acid is LSD. Am I wrong? 


Alison Leiby: Are they? 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, my God. Alison, They were drugged. Okay. Titanic crew members got drug with PCP. 


Alison Leiby: PCP. Yes. I knew it was something. 


Halle Kiefer: Damn. I guess to me, I’m not having never done PCP, I’ve never done acid either, I’ve done shrooms, so I’m like, I would do acid, but PCP, I feel like I—


Alison Leiby: Yeah no, that’s that’s that’s a different me category for me. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And that also happened in 1986. How strange. What a year. What a year for— 


Alison Leiby: What a year for drugged punch. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. I feel like we’ve moved past that. I really wouldn’t like that now. I feel like. 


Alison Leiby: No, no. 


Halle Kiefer: You know, if somebody is on a psychiatric medication, I really would hope that we’re not going into a party like that. But. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: So then we see the, the credits immediately roll, which we love. Again, I think a lot of this is like we’re destabilizing ourselves, like we are. We are entering a space of like the beginning is the end, you know? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, yeah, yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And on the screen we see in French, of course, for the translation, the text, Existence is a fleeting illusion. Alison. We are about to meet every goddamn dancer, and I really appreciated them doing this. And yet I still fucked it up like they did—


Alison Leiby: It’s too many people to keep track of. 


Halle Kiefer: They did exactly what I would ask for. It’s like everyone has a different outfit. Everybody’s introduced with their name on the screen. I still it was too many people and but they were all great. So we meet this woman, Lou. She’s basically says dance is everything. Like, you know, she her life would be dis railed if she couldn’t dance. Ivana says, if I couldn’t dance, I would commit suicide. Eva says, you know, on stage there is no judgment, just sensation. And we realize that they are giving testimonials to a choreographer and sort of a manager or a director rather, so choreographer and a director of a dance troupe. So these are all people who are being selected for this dance troupe that we will then see have this experience. And they’re all obviously like committed their lives to dancing. And so it’s like there are a lot of Black people. A lot, I would say most of them are queer. You know, there’s like at least one Middle Eastern guy. There’s a lot of like it is a multicultural cast in a way that it was nice to see as well. I’m like, okay, great. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And everyone in it, even though most of them are not are just professional dancers are great, which makes sense because you are performing. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And in this case, a lot of that—


Alison Leiby: Does go hand in hand.


Halle Kiefer: A lot of the dialogue is improvised. So I think a lot of it is like you are playing a version of yourself and also you as a person is already a performer. So of course they were going to be it’s not like they plucked someone off the street, you know what I mean, who doesn’t know what a performance is. Rocket says, You know, marijuana is a great muscle relaxant. He’s like, you know, it’s sort of like takes me out of myself and sort of like introducing the idea of like using drugs as an artistic sort of tool. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Riley says, Who’s this very young gay man. He’s like, You know, when I dance, I could be someone else. And we hear the narrator or the interviewer says, Do your parents know what kind of dance you do? And he says, if they knew, they’d be shocked. And the person asking us, like, What would you do? Would you do anything to succeed? And Riley kind of smiles. And I was like, I guess they’re implying like, would you fuck like, fuck your way to the top? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s like that’s fine. It’s just like, oh, again, introduce the idea of like, Well, is that why we’re here, you know? 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: David says he’s ready for anything at everybody. He doesn’t know what to expect, but he will do anything to work with a choreographer like you. We have not met the choreographer they are off camera. We will meet her in a little bit. Shirley says her worst fear is being alone. And it’s like, That’s funny because you’re going to a lot worse fear by the end of this after what happens to you. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, that’s going to be your dream. 


Halle Kiefer: She also says, What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, which is good. Good to hear is, as something is about to almost kill her. Omar says he believes in paradise. And so we understand that he’s religious. I believe that he’s Muslim because we also find out he doesn’t drink. So he’s sort of are more not necessarily, uptight so people don’t call him uptight in the movie. But sort of he’s not necessarily doing drugs or partying in the same way. Psyché says she talks about how she was lived in Berlin for a long time. And she’s like, the art scene is too fucked up, she says. 


[clip of Thea Carla Schøtt]: My ex roommate. I don’t talk to him anymore. But right before we I moved out, he started to take acid in his eyes like actual drops. 


Halle Kiefer: And she’s like, you know, just kind of get a lot out of control. So I just came to France because I’m like, I don’t need to be all involved in this. And it’s like. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, that that stands to reason. Jennifer says when she parties, she has sort of a secret garden she goes to. Alaïa says, Well, you know, I tried coke once and I wouldn’t do it again. I’m being honest with you. And her worst nightmare is darkness. Dom says we mean Dom Cyborg Rocco Kyrra, who is a man. And Kyrra says, You know, I’ve never worked with— 


Alison Leiby: I’ve already forgotten everybody.


Halle Kiefer: It’s totally fine. [laughter] Yeah, Kyrra says, I’ve never worked with gays before, but I’m excited about it and obviously like, everybody’s gay. 


Alison Leiby: In dance? 


Halle Kiefer: Like, I think that’s the joke. Like he himself is probably gay. 


Alison Leiby: Oh. Okay got it. 


Halle Kiefer: And there’s also like. We’re playing with like, I it’s sort of a I don’t know what you would call it, not gender blind, but sex blind. So, you know, there’s a trans woman who plays a mother who has a child in the movie. You know, we’re sort of we’re we are all playing characters. We are outside of it. So that sort of but we’re also like, that’s sort of the joke of it. Like there’s jokes that work on multiple levels, which we’ll talk about and sort of he’s poking fun of like, I can’t even imagine working with gay people, you know, obviously probably being queer. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Themself. We also meet Gazelle and Taylor. So they are brother and sister. And Taylor is immediately very possessive of Gazelle and the choreographer saying basically, like you guys are, we’re it’s a three day. They’ve already been cast. So it’s not it’s like a three day rehearsal just to figure out where we’re all out. Like as we form this troupe, we would we would potentially tour and France and also the U.S. and everyone’s really excited about that. And they were checking like, would that be fine? Because Gazelle says, Oh, yeah, I’ve been to the U.S., I’ve been in New York before and Taylor says, With who? Who took you to New York? So is immediately on top of her, sort of as as her brother. Sila says U.S. is the place to go. It’s a place for Black culture. Serpent says, I. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: The U.S. is amazing. I’ve never been. And they say, Well, where are you from? He says, Oh me? I’m from hell. And we see Emmanuelle who is our— 


Alison Leiby: That’s a fun way to introduce yourself. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah and Emmanuelle who I understand, Wikipedia called her the director, but I understand her as sort of the manager. But I understand it as the director, right? So when she talks about it, it’s. She’s like, we are going to bring our level of dance from France to the U.S. So it’s like, we are responsible. Okay. So then we get our first dance scene, which apparently is the only choreographed dancing. Right. And it’s a lot of it’s Vogue. It’s ballroom and it’s sort of like different groups forming together and emerging. It’s very, very queer, very Black. And I was very feel very bad about everything that’s going to happen to these people by the end of it. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, yeah, because it’s like so beautiful and like. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, and so much of this we the the action, if you will, doesn’t happen until much later. And you do get this incredible level of dance. But what’s interesting is this first dance scene and when I’m seeing, I’m like, this is this isn’t actually that good. That’s intentional, obviously. And when we finally get to the dancing and I will say this, it’s sort of like drag. Like as queer art is brought to the mainstream, I now have a more rarefied feeling about—


Alison Leiby: 100 %.


Halle Kiefer: Vogue and like Ballroom because of things like Pose and there was that Netflix show that was like a dance show that was specifically Ballroom, which is sort of like. 


Alison Leiby: Yes, yes. 


Halle Kiefer: This is a beautiful queer art that has been and Black art, that has been brought to the forefront. So as a watching this as a white cis woman, like I’ve seen better dancing, but I have. 


Alison Leiby: Right.


Halle Kiefer: So it’s sort of. 


Alison Leiby: Which is great. 


Halle Kiefer: Absolutely same with drag. But it’s also like very judgmental to feel like. 


Alison Leiby: Yes, of course. 


Halle Kiefer: I’ve seen it. I’ve seen better. Step it up, you know, like as if I could do any of this. And also I say this as an American and whatever, but it just watching this, I’m like, Could you really be better than America? But obviously, like, as if I know anything about Dance of France. You know


Alison Leiby: I know I’m like, who could who could know? Not me.


Halle Kiefer: This initial. 


Alison Leiby: Not Enrique.


Halle Kiefer: No.


Alison Leiby: Sorry to bring it back to something so dark. [laughs]  


Halle Kiefer: No. I’m glad that you did. I’m glad you did. Honestly, as dark as this film, I’ll say. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: But this this first scene, because it feels so choreographed, is less alive than the other. Like when you finally get to the other dance, it’s like, Oh, this is dance like, this is what we are. Why dance is important as an art, right? And Psyché who was the one who was like her roommate put acid in his eyes. She takes off her dress and goes to dance and look. I’m saying, look, my face card constantly declines. You know what I mean? Like the chip on my face card got scratched. ATM, it’s constantly getting declined. But this isn’t it’s


Alison Leiby: Mine’s just Discover.


Halle Kiefer: She’s trying to serve. It is not a serve. And I was like, this is not worth getting your face ripped off or whatever’s going to happen to these people.


Alison Leiby: Whatever is coming. Yeah, that’s not it.


Halle Kiefer: It makes me think of that. There’s a clip from Dance Moms. I can’t remember that woman who I think went to prison. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, Abby, something?


Halle Kiefer: Yes, sometimes I’m like, Oh Dance Moms. I think she went to prison. Abby Miller.


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Every once in a while. TikTok serves me like, like something a clip from that show. And I’m just like, what was. I didn’t watch it. I’m just, like, culturally familiar, but it is a real. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah same he, I never watch it. But like, I do like memes of her because she is. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. Out of her mind.


Halle Kiefer: Yes. She did go to prison for eight months. She is iconic, though. I think that’s why the that show worked is like it was just. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And there’s one clip that this is what it made me think of, watching this woman’s Psyché dance, who is not it’s not bad. It’s just like everyone else is better than her and I there’s a clip of Abby Lee Miller say, Sloppy lazy. [laughter] And just like yelling at children. But watching this, I was like, boring. Oh, yeah, boring, yawning, sloppy, lazy. I was like, yawning. 


Alison Leiby: Boring, yawning, sloppy, lazy. [laughs] 


Halle Kiefer: And then also, I literally wrote and this I had to go back and change. I said the problem in this movie is there’s so many fucking characters. Fortunately, Prime has their names. I want to again, apologize to everyone. No it, they didn’t. First of all, the names often were of different people. Sometimes the photos were wrong. So that I’m watching this, I’m like, Who the fuck are we talking about? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, I think that if you have more than ten characters that are like actively like ensemble in a movie, we need lower thirds the whole film, like from production. With names. 


Halle Kiefer: But I think it’s like, listen, this is a cinema is a, it’s a visual language and I’m trying to explain it. I’m trying to wedge, a shoe, wedge my foot into a wrong sized shoe. Right? 


Alison Leiby: I don’t care. Me watching it would also not know who I am looking at. 


Halle Kiefer: That’s true. And I think actually the name’s actually confuse me more. I just had to look it up, it would have forced me to interact—


Alison Leiby: To understand. Yeah, but instead you were like, I’m getting served this information and I will put it in my body and not think twice about whether it’s—


Halle Kiefer: And then there’s a certain actress. Like there’s an actress named Giselle who plays a character named Gazelle. Like it’s just even when I looked it up I’m like. 


Alison Leiby: That’s rude. 


Halle Kiefer: But anyways. 


Alison Leiby: Just have her be Giselle. 


Halle Kiefer: Listen, at the end of the day, please watch this movie. But okay, so they’ve all they’ve done the performance now everyone’s hanging out. The idea that they’ve been there for three days and they’ve this is a school. They’re sort of performing in like a big church space. So they’ve made a dance floor. There’s a little stage, but it is essentially a church, a school with a church in it. So they’re dancing in the church area, right? There’s no pews or anything. It’s just a big open room. And they’re smoking cigarettes because it’s France. And there’s a big table of like trashy party food, which looks great and then a big punch bowl. Do you remember punch? Oh, what I would give for a sip of punch. 


Alison Leiby: I’m familiar with punch. I, I don’t think it really came up in my life. 


Halle Kiefer: Interesting. 


Alison Leiby: More than four times. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, interesting. I had a feel like really, really punch based childhood. 


Alison Leiby: I was never a huge fan of fruit punch. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay. 


Alison Leiby: So there’s also a reality where it was probably around more than I thought of, but because I didn’t want it, it didn’t register to me as being present. 


Halle Kiefer: To me, punch is like, Do you remember? Did you ever see The Glass Menagerie? Okay. Well, the Mom who was like, one of these classic? Like Tennessee Williams like, I remember when I was a child, you know, like. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: That’s how I feel about punch. I was like, I remember like it’s so nostalgic to me. Like I remember when we put sherbet. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: In the punch. Like I love punch. it just doesn’t come up a lot as an adult.


Alison Leiby: No. And I think post-COVID. 


Halle Kiefer: We can’t be. 


Alison Leiby: It’s just not.


Halle Kiefer: And so we get it turns out it’s actually sangria, which is less exciting to me but a huge. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And maybe I watch this and I’m like I should get a punch bowl and that’s what having ADHD is to me I’m watching this horror movie like I should get a punch bowl for what? For the gigantic parties I have? What are you talking about. 


Alison Leiby: I mean, I love the vibe of it. 


Halle Kiefer: You got to. 


Alison Leiby: With like and it’s crystal and you have all the crystal glass. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. 


Alison Leiby: Like, I just like, I love that. But.


Halle Kiefer: That’s where I want to end up. Someone who has a punch bowl, a vinyl trench coat, and a punch bowl. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. I mean, these are achievable goals. 


Halle Kiefer: So it’s sangria and we see this again like this beautiful, dark red, and everyone’s constantly are holding like cups of dark red liquid. And everything in the movie is very red and black. 


Alison Leiby: Blood. 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. And there’s also a child there. His name is Tito. 


Alison Leiby: Oh. 


Halle Kiefer: And I was not expecting there to be a child. And so I was immediately concerned. 


Alison Leiby: Why would there be. 


Halle Kiefer: And I was right to be. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. Of course. 


Halle Kiefer: I was right to be. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: We you know, with Omar. So we sort of see like the different pairings chatting with each other. Omar, who again, I believe is Muslim because he is, he’s mentioned paradise. This guy David comes up and offers him a glass of the sangria and Omar says, I don’t drink. So he Omar, is not drinking. We see one other dancer, Lou. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: Who is a woman, turn down the glass, saying she’s not really feeling well. So Omar and Lou are are—


Alison Leiby: Are not drinking this punch. 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. 


Alison Leiby: Or sangria.


Halle Kiefer: But everyone else is getting. 


Alison Leiby: Or blood. 


Halle Kiefer: Well, it is sangria, it’s it’s more. 


Alison Leiby: For now. 


Halle Kiefer: More than sangria, as it turns out. But yeah so but so those are the two that we know have not drink. Everyone else is getting loose. They’ve been there for three days. It is there’s a snowstorm outside. They’re getting picked up tomorrow. So this is sort of like the idea is like, oh, it’s a last day of like three days. And also, like everyone might fuck each other because it’s like, oh, we’re all young, we’re all hot, we all have incredible bodies. We all been flirting for 72 hours, like, okay, tonight, if it’s going to happen for any of us, like, tonight’s the night, so everyone’s kind of like, Ooh, like, what’s going to happen? We meet the choreographer Selva, so Selva and Emmanuelle. It is their dance troupe, and they sort of seem to have a little bit of a combative relationship about and I’m assuming that’s about control of the group and sort of like what this project is Selva’s drinking and David grabs her by the arm and drags her to the end of the dance floor. But Selva knocks his hand away, says, I told you yesterday, I am not interested. And he’s like, No, no, it’s not a big deal. No one’s looking. No one cares. It’s last night and he grabs her and kisses her and she jerks her head back and she says, okay, Happy? 


Alison Leiby: No, sir. 


Halle Kiefer: And then says, Let’s just go dance. And they go dance. So obviously, he has been sort of hounding her and it’s the last night she’s not having it. She goes to tell Ivana, Oh, you were incredible at your solo. And you see that like the way she was talking to Ivana. Like there is like chemistry there. And then Psyché comes over and interrupts and Selva says, Oh, you were good too. And it’s like we all saw Psyché. She wasn’t great. Okay. She maybe she should have left Berlin a little earlier. Okay is what I’m saying about her. 


Alison Leiby: It’s like being at a show and somebody bombs, but you’re all like, great set. 


Halle Kiefer: Well it’s like someone really was great, and then someone else comes over. You’re like, You were good too.


Alison Leiby: Yeah, right yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes, But Selva says, I couldn’t be happier. Like, I thought everyone was really incredible. I’m really excited about what this could be. And she tells Gazelle, I love your attitude. And when she walks away, Gazelle like, rolls her eyes. And I love, there are just so many little moments where it’s like, we don’t know what that’s about. But it’s exactly like in this kind of environment where it’s like, Oh, she’s driving me insane. You know, like, we get this, like, reaction. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: And it’s just everyone they did a great job. Like everyone’s character nuances came through. And so you’re enjoying that. But know things sort of hit the fan. We see we meet the DJ whose name is Daddy, and he’s talking to Cyborg and everyone’s having a blast. Alison—


Alison Leiby: Daddy and Cyborg always chatting. 


Halle Kiefer: And, you know, you got to have Daddy and Cyborg. If Daddy and Cyborg, were chatting, you know, it’s a fucking party. 


Alison Leiby: You know it’s a party. 


Halle Kiefer: Emmanuelle who, again is the director, turns and sees her son Tito, who’s seven years old, drinking out of the punch bowl. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, no, that’s bad. Even if it’s just sangria. 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. She runs over, she’s like, that’s alcohol. It’s bad for you. You cannot do that. And again, he’s like, I don’t know, I’m seven. I can do what the fuck I want. You know.


Alison Leiby: Right. Kids don’t know what alcohol is yet. 


Halle Kiefer: And Lou comes over and scoops up Tito he’s like, Oh, don’t be so mean. And they start dancing around. It’s really sweet. And then Selva comes over and they’re all dancing with Tito. And again I, I know something bad is going to happen and just then sort of this dark note starts to play under the music and it was just like a lovely transition of like later and later in the night. 


Alison Leiby: Ooh ooh. 


Halle Kiefer: And again everyone is also getting drunk. So like when things start to like, move on, you people aren’t immediately aware of it because everyone is drunk and eventually is like doing coke and is fucked up. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: But this means. 


Alison Leiby: It’s a party. 


Halle Kiefer: Like now we’re actually getting dancing. And we had sort of that choreographed dancing. Now we’re like getting loose, you know? And we see Omar and Gazelle start dancing with another one another and one of the other dancers like, Oh, Gazelle, you got something with Omar. We know that Taylor does not like Omar, so Taylor is Gazelle’s brother. And Omar notices it and says, It seems like your brother doesn’t like you very much. And Gazelle says, You know, my brother, he’s just afraid you’re going to get me pregnant. Now, that’s a joke because, I mean, it’s like the character. We don’t know if she’s cis or trans. I guess they do imply that he knows that she is trans. But the joke obviously being like, the one thing that’s not going to happen is you’re going to get me pregnant. And but again, it does it regardless. It’s a joke that works either way. And so Ivana is sort of I guess the idea is like Ivana and Psyché used to go out and Psyché is already kind of dead eyed, drunk and not really focusing on her. And so Ivana is sort of pestering Psyché to like give her the attention. I think the idea is like they broke up they’re exes. They’re kind of fighting all the time. And we see David walk over and just grabs Eva’s drink out of her hand, slams it, and then David sort of cycling to all the women to see who wants, who’s going to fuck him, right? So he’s kind of like just out here just looking for everybody. And he comes up to Selva again to hit on her and now she’s much drunker. And Lou, who isn’t drinking again, says, I’m worried about Tito being here. 


Alison Leiby: Yes.


Halle Kiefer: And Selva’s like, No, it’s okay. Daniel just took him to bed. You know, it’s fine. I understand what you’re saying, but, like, it’s not going to be a big deal. But Lou is, you know, I don’t know she’s clearly emotional about it. And, you know, it’s obviously bringing stuff up, it’s like, I don’t know, this doesn’t seem appropriate for kids. And David says, you know, kind of trying to be like, what are you guys talk about? Selva says, nothing. Everything is fine. And Selva says to Lou, you know, I think this is honestly a great place to raise a child like around dance. I’m really glad that Emmanuelle didn’t get an abortion and like she was planning to. I think it was great. 


Alison Leiby: I mean, yeah, okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And Lou says. 


Alison Leiby: Weird time to bring that up.


Halle Kiefer: And Lou, who again, like Lou is not drinking and Lou’s very emotional about the one child being there. Lou says, Have you ever had an abortion? So we already kind of guess like, okay, so, Lou, you seem like you’re pregnant, right? 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And Selva says, look, it’s just good to have the choice. You know, like this is what it comes down to. Text on the screen. Alison. Birth is a unique opportunity. We see Emmanuelle put little Tito to bed and she says she’s supposed to be a little bit older again everyone looks 25 to me. So she’s like, you know, I used to be a dancer before I aged out. But I’m like how the fuck old are these people supposed to be?


Alison Leiby: Yeah, everyone in the trailer looked like mega young.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And she’s like, you know, I used to be a dancer. And that’s sort of like, why the like she sort of did maybe make it as a dancer is now directing like still involved in dance but she is not herself a dancer and she says you know Tito, you know, if you want I want you to be a dancer, you know, when you grow up. He’s he’s like he’s just talking to his mom, like, okay, great. You know, I’m sure I’m seven. And she says, You have the time. I know you don’t get to see me so much, but like, I just want to be a good mommy. And they have. And she sort of, like closes his eyes. So I’m like, Oh, nah, something bad is going to happen to the kid, we see that we’re sort of seeing couples and the people are because there’s no dialogue or no scripted dialogue. I’m presuming he gave them topics and they sort of like riffed on them. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, like Curb. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, exactly. I would say Kyrra and say, Oh my God, I wrote down Strauss could that be right? [laughter] Serpent. Sorry. Oh, yeah. So Kyrra and Serpent talk about how they can’t see, like, there’s a flag in the room. I’m assuming it’s the flag of France or it’s a religious flag, but they never cut to it. And I went back and look at I couldn’t tell what they were talking about. So again, I was like, this must be a French thing. But they’re in a church and they keep referencing like, this is a school with a church and how weird it feels. We see Omar talking to David like the crosses are creepy. Like we’re just like getting drunk in this church. And David said, Calm down, don’t be a prick. God is good. We see Cyborg and Alaïa. They’re also talking about God. And Cyborg was like, I don’t like it. Like whenever religion and dance ever come together. And as a Catholic, I understand. Like there is a this is also about like the control of the body. It’s very. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: What’s the movie where you can’t dance? Footloose. There is that Footloose sensibility where dance is like a gateway to sex and a gateway to, like, sensuality. 


Alison Leiby: Yes, yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And so I think it’s sort of like being around that does feel unnatural. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Those two things don’t like at least a Western Christian and like like those two things don’t line up.


Halle Kiefer: And Alaïa says, well anyways, my dad’s in a coma. He’s been in a coma for six months. You know like, I got other stuff going on, man. I don’t really care about that. Selva is clearly really fucked up at this point, and Daddy tried to talk to her about the time that he was doing drugs with his ex boyfriend and thought I was safe, he says. But you never really know where the drugs come from. We see David and Omar David sort of bragging about fucking one of the women there, and Omar was like, okay, dude, sure. And David says, I want to fuck those two blondes. And we look and it’s Ivana and Psyché who are now having a full argument on the stairs. And they were clearly a couple. And Ivana’s like. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: Stop acting like I don’t exist. And she said to Psyché, You’re so fucking fake. 


Alison Leiby: That’s very much what I imagine the fights are at a dance party. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh one hundred percent. Yeah, everyone’s 25, everyone’s fucking drunk, everyone’s queer. So everyone’s fucking everybody. 


Alison Leiby: Everybody is fucking each other. And yeah, it’s chaos.


Halle Kiefer: And Ivana says, you’re so fucking fake. And Psyché doesn’t turn around. She goes, I’m not fake. You’re boring. And so they’re like in it. And of course, David, we know that David’s is a piece of shit, so you can kind of guess what’s maybe going to happen to him in this movie. He goes, you know, dyke stuff never works. They need the cock. It’s like, Well, David, I hope there’s some— 


Alison Leiby: Well, I hope you die soon, David. 


Halle Kiefer: I hope there’s some dykes in heaven who need the cock because you’re about to meet them there. And also as a dyke cock as a transferable object. You know, you could work something out. You know what I mean. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: If you have the cock is like not from this guy. 


Alison Leiby: Definitely not yours though. 


Halle Kiefer: Jesus Christ. And Daddy and Selva are talking about like, oh, would you want to have kids? And she says, absolutely not. I fucking. I keep it moving. I would never do that. Daddy says he would like to get married and Selva jokes. Well, how many times? Because I’m saying four. Either zero or four, you got to keep it going. You know, we see Jennifer, everyone kind of thinks of Jennifer as a coke head. So Jennifer is doing coke on the stairs, Cyborg is disgusted with her. It’s like your name is Cyborg. You’re in a dance troupe. People are going to be doing coke. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, that’s like the scene.


Halle Kiefer: We see, Eva and Dom are talking to each other and they’re like, Can you believe that? He’s with her. He was totally manipulate her, which I took to mean that David and Emmanuelle, the director, are together because I didn’t know what other woman they’d be talking about. But David’s obviously a garbage person and is in clearly a relationship with a woman that they think he’s manipulating her. So everyone thinks that David stinks, right? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And David tells Omar. Meanwhile, it’s like you don’t drink. What do you even do? Me? I fuck like. I fuck everybody here. And we got to Serpent and this girl, girl, Shirley. And one of the girls is saying, David is a walking STD, I bet he has herpes. Don’t fuck he has dirty dick. Don’t talk to him. But Serpent says, Well, you know, one time we were rooming together and he had sex with this girl in the room. And it does seem like he can fuck. And so when Shirley goes, huh, like, it just sort of like, don’t fuck that guy unless I should fuck that guy. And that’s where we’re headed, that time of the night where it’s like, I shouldn’t fuck that guy unless I drink a little more. He is that’s the thing is like, well, we are already here, so I don’t have to go anywhere to fuck some guy. 


Alison Leiby: Right, Right. It’s right in front of you. 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. And then David starts to grill Omar about Gazelle. And this is where I realize, oh, he like, she is trans. It’s not like, you know, we’re not necessarily. It’s like the joke was not in of itself about her as a cis character. Because David says to Omar, Oh, I want to know about your relation with Gazelle. Like, what’s she like in bed? Tell me about her. But not the details. No details if she’s ass or pussy. And I’m like, Excuse me, this is still a work event.


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: David. 


Alison Leiby: Also, like, isn’t she, like, in the room somewhere? [laughs] 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. And I guess the idea is like David—


Alison Leiby: If you’re all in the same place.


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. Like David is so inappropriate and so, like, such a fucking dog. He doesn’t care. And again. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: He’s also drunk. Omar, to his credit, doesn’t reply. It doesn’t sort of feed into this. 


Alison Leiby: I mean, great. That’s kind of the only response. 


Halle Kiefer: He was like, I don’t I don’t need to know, you know, what she’s got going on. I just want to know, like, how nuts she gets? And it’s like, all right, dude. 


Alison Leiby: Go away. 


Halle Kiefer: Meanwhile, Gazelle is having an argument with her brother, Taylor, who is again very controlling and in this case is is like very controlling of her relationship with Omar. And she’s like, look, I’m an adult, I’m 20, and I’m like, Oh God, you’re 20. It’s like, This is my life. 


Alison Leiby: You’re not an adult. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s like, this is my own life. You have your own life. I’m allowed to date whoever it wants. Clearly, Omar and I met through dancing also. Omar seems like compared to David, the nicest guy there, you know, like, Oh, at least he’s not this piece of shit, you know. That being said. I was like, okay. Well, I understand Taylor, who’s supposed to be like 25, understandably, at this point, being like, well, my sister is a 20 year old Black trans woman. I being sort of really overly critical of a man she’s dating seems like it would go hand in hand of like, I just want to make sure like what’s what’s different about this guy. But then there’s like this jealous, possessiveness part of it. Like, it’s not just concern. It’s like, why are you fucking this guy? In a way that’s even she at 20 is like, you have to, like, grow up. And there is this themes theme, which I feel is very French of like men’s possessiveness or men’s assumption of control around women’s sexuality. That sort of comes up, which you already see with David. And now, like Taylor being so possessive of his sister who’s like, What are we talking about? Like, you know, And at the same time we then see David tell Omar, I really want to fuck Gazelle so like, let’s have a threesome with her. You know, like we got to tell her like it’s group sex is cool. And Omar says you’re just up to some filthy shit, man. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And we see Taylor again sort of haranguing Gazelle about Omar is like, I don’t like him. He seems really uptight, which I think is a very funny thing to be worried about. But I was like, I guess if he’s like some strict Muslim guy and then like, I don’t know, like I was like, Oh, you’re trans. Are like, is he going to be judgmental? I get that. 


Alison Leiby: Right. But or controlling or, you know, whatever the assumptions are about someone with that limited amount of knowledge. Which is unfair. 


Halle Kiefer: Right it’s sort of like running up against these ideas of like, oh, what’s he what does he like? Like what? Why is this happening? And she’s like, you’re out here getting your dick sucked. I don’t understand why you’re on my case about my sex life. And he’s like, That does not mean that you can suck dick. And she says, Well, that’s pretty normal if you’ve been dating for nine months. They’ve been together for nine months? Why are we having this conversation?


Alison Leiby: Nine months? What are we talking about? 


Halle Kiefer: Like. We should be past this, like you’re dating. It’s fine. Like, what are we talking about? Like, not that you would necessarily know after nine months if someone was like a bad person or was going to treat you badly, but you know better than if you did after a little. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Like you didn’t if you didn’t just meet him. There’s at least some substance to like. Okay, I know him. You know, also, you’re nine months. At 20? You might as well be married, you know. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. It’s your whole life. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. We see a cyborg talking with one of the other characters whose name is Bart. And his name on Amazon Prime is Baths. [laughs] Which I’m like, that’s not even a name of a character. Also the photo for Gazelle, who is played by Giselle Palmer, who is great in this is a what a rando white woman [laughs] who like it’s not even the right person. It’s not even in the ballpark of like the right person.


Alison Leiby: Who it is, right. 


Halle Kiefer: And that’s why I’m like, oh it must be AI. They must have like AI using this, like it didn’t feel like— 


Alison Leiby: Obviously AI is doing it. 


Halle Kiefer: And that’s why you have to stop using Prime. Because I’m watching us live like a human being needs to do this. It’s like writing an index for a book. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: You can’t. If it doesn’t work, you can’t use it. 


Alison Leiby: Right, then it’s like a useless thing.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. So they’re arguing. We then see we see Bart and Cyborg. They’re talking about the flag in this church area. And Cyborg’s like, I bet this place was like there’s like a sect here, like some sort of religious cult was here. Like, there’s got some bad energy here. And Cyborg goes honestly and this group is really weird. And Bart goes, Yeah, but I’d fuck anybody here. They’re both like, yeah, we I me too. And then they’re just talking about like, I’d fuck her, I’d fuck her, I’d maybe fuck him, you know, like we’re just, you know. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Getting into it. And we’re talking about we see Eva and Dom, and they’re talking about like, sort of as they’re both women, like moving past the idea of being controlled by their fathers and brothers. And Eva’s like, yeah, like you even need men. Like, what about girls? And Dom says what about me? And Eva goes, we already talked about that. And Dom goes then why bring it up? And it’s just sort of like, oh so they already we’re dating like we’re in the middle of all of these, like, forming, reforming relationships. And it was really. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: I don’t know, like, it just was felt like before we even get to the part where like, something bad is going to happen, I was already like, I do want to know what happens with Omar. I do want to know, did they used to date. Yes.


Alison Leiby: I’m invested. 


Halle Kiefer: And just like again. And then I feel like I’ve seen so many movies, I’m like, no one gave a fuck about any of the characters. Nobody like. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: I immediately care about, like, what’s going to happen, like who’s dating who, who’s fucking who, like what happened, what about Tito? You know, like, I care about these characters immediately in a way that I was really excited to see in this movie. We also we see the guys talking about Ivana and Psyché fucking with strap on’s, and they’re like, Oh, I’d fuck Psyché I guess because she’s tall and blonde, even though she’s an absolute dud on the dance floor if you ask me. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And, and these Bart’s like I would stick my cock in her so far it would come out of her throat. Meanwhile, we see Kyrra talking to Lou and he’s really distraught. He basically says that the love of his life is pregnant with another man’s child. And Lou, who we already think is pregnant, is like, oh, boy. Well, that would be bad if someone were to be pregnant [both speaking] yeah, it’s like, so what do you guys what? She’s thinking about it, you know, like having these conversations about pregnancy. 


Alison Leiby: Right. What’s she going to do?


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. We see Bart and we see the guys talk to especially the guys in general being like, Oh, I’d fuck Selva. She’s so hot, you know? And one of them goes, Yeah, just show her your dick. It’s like, well, that’s not going to work. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: Again, they’re just like being like, piggish in this, like, very young man’s way and he’s like yeah I’d put it her ass. No lube. But it’s like, why no lube bud? 


Alison Leiby: Why? Why? That ruins it for everyone. 


Halle Kiefer: We see Riley who again is like he looks like he’s 18, is talking to Daddy, who’s like clearly an older Black, Black, gay man. And it’s sort of like Riley’s, like, complaining about his love life. And Daddy is like you are young, rich, and you’re going to get plenty of cock. You don’t take your time like you’re going to. You don’t have to fuck someone tonight. You could fuck someone tomorrow night. Like, don’t feel like you have to rush into that. And Riley’s like. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: I’m going to fuck David. It’s like, okay. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s like, Oh, right. He like, David’s talking to all the girls. So like, Riley, it’s like, oh, I want to fuck him because, like, I want to feel desired. 


Alison Leiby: Like, yes. 


Halle Kiefer: You know, it’s like, Oh, I want to be in the mix, you know, even though everyone’s fucked David and he sucks, you know? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And Daddy says, you know, this is why you’re virgin like this approach. And then you cut back to the guys are like, Riley’s a virgin, but I’d fuck him. Like, it’s like, you know what? I’d fuck Riley. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Then they argue about the butthole, and one of them is like, I’m not a butthole guy, which I thought was a very funny way to put it. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And Cyborg is like, listen, it’s an occupational hazard. You’re down to the butthole. You just got to let’s be mature about this, okay? And they’re like, Oh, wow. This is a really interesting conversation we’re having about the butthole. You know, we see Emmanuelle after putting Tito to bed, she’s talking to Daddy and she’s like, You know what? My greatest mistake was my greatest success. And she says, I basically got pregnant with you. I just got fucked in a corner. And the implication is that she doesn’t necessarily know who got her pregnant, but she’s like, but this is like the success of my life, you know, like and it’s like I thought I was gonna be a dancer. That didn’t work out because I got pregnant. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: And now, like, I have this relationship with my son that’s really beautiful. And unfortunately, things aren’t going to go well for them, and you know it. But I don’t know, just sort of like, Oh, great. That’s an interesting perspective as well. Finally, everyone is drunk enough that we get some real fucking dancing. Alison. 


Alison Leiby: Good. 


Halle Kiefer: And this is all worth watching for the dancing alone. These are incredible dancers. 


Alison Leiby: I believe it. 


Halle Kiefer: And it’s shot. This this dance sequence was like our second big dance sequence. And this is all improvised. And it is like they’re all in a circle. It’s like it’s Vogue, it’s Ballroom. It’s like break dancing. It’s people on the ground like it’s like a horizontal dancing in a way that, like, the way it’s shot is so beautifully done. Like, you just get so much out of it the way it’s done and like, shot with like, a reverence and an interest in dance. I wrote dance is so important. And it’s true. 


Alison Leiby: Dance is important. 


Halle Kiefer: And that’s just like watching it for the dance. I just. I just maybe I hadn’t seen dance in a while.


Alison Leiby: There’s not a ton of times I encounter it at this point. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And so it’s just really nice to see, in addition to this being like an interesting horror movie and we see like, and then it’s like everyone’s like writhing on the ground, like Psyché takes off her dress and it’s like dance as control of the body and then innately sexual control and like we are all cut off from ourselves sexually. So it’s sort of like we’re moving into this more sexual part of the evening. And also, this is another reason that dance is important. I don’t know. I get I keep thinking of Footloose where it’s like, yeah, this is it’s not that it is sex, but it is sexual in a way that like that is also why the art is important. I don’t know. I feel like it’s like we every part of humanity has to be touched by art. And this is almost like dance is so important like any who. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: So that like you could feel them like they’re actual dancers. They’re actually excellent at dancing and at the beginning, it’s like that was sort of like an impression of dancing, like they either going through the motions. 


Alison Leiby: Okay yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Whereas this you can feel that they’re really giving themselves like and they’re all really great. And then again, as they get drunk, like David tries to grab Selva and drag her in the middle of the circle, but she shoves him away and he grabs Jennifer and like, flips her around while she’s upside down. Two guys are running in the middle and then everyone has another glass of the punch Alison. 


Alison Leiby: Oh boy. 


Halle Kiefer: And you’re seeing everyone dancing like some people like, are like on the ground dancing. And everyone’s holding this like, dark red glass and liquid spilling everywhere. Again, everything’s like red and black everyone looks incredible. And so everyone starts to like get down on the ground as they are getting drunker and more fucked up. We see Gazelle’s trying to get Omar’s attention like kiss him, but he’s really out of it. So he’s just dancing and spinning so hard that he kind of ignores her. And she, you see her sort of take offense and Daddy gets on the mic and goes, This is for France. Let’s slaughter those Yankees. Woo! Alison. Now it’s time for the actual credits. And I love the credits because it’s everyone’s actual name in these, like, big, beautiful, splashy, like everyone’s name is a different, like, font and color. Like, it’s a little piece of art. I was like, that is. 


Alison Leiby: I love that. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s so. 


Alison Leiby: Gorgeous. 


Halle Kiefer: Again, like something that a real artist would think of because like, at this point in time, you’ve seen them both act, dance and then actually dance. So by the time I saw their names names, I was like, Yes, like it’s so good. And what did interesting novel way to like now, you know, these characters that you’ve seen these dancers now you’ll see their names. I just thought that was so thoughtful. And then you also see like Daft Punk, like everyone on the soundtrack. So it’s sort of like seeing everyone. 


Alison Leiby: Yes that’s cool. 


Halle Kiefer: Else after having run the technical credits at the beginning. Alison. We are midway through the film we have. I have yet to ask you a question because as you’ve noticed, nothing horrifying has happened yet, because it’s just it’s an experimental dance horror film. It’s not a traditional—


Alison Leiby: Yes, right, yes.


Halle Kiefer: Plot you know. But again, Selva gets another glass of sangria. It’s like the thick bottom of the bowl where like the oh, it’s all the fruit in it. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: We’re it soaked up like all of the alcohol. And as we find out soon what else is in there, we again we see Lou turn down the glass. And again, only she and Omar have refrained from drinking. And we see yet again, like Psyché sort of changes into a shirt. Everyone’s out of their minds. But again, they aren’t necessarily thinking, oh, something’s in the punch. They’re like, we are really drunk. 


Alison Leiby: We are drunk yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: We are dancing, we’re all fucked up. Absolutely. You would be, you know. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Alaïa or I don’t know if it’s Alaïa or Alaïa. I’m gonna say Alaïa. Alaïa asks Selva for coke. But Selva says I’m out. Ask Jennifer again. Everyone knows Jennifer’s a huge coke head. And so we’ve reached the night where everyone’s like pairing off, like grinding on one another. Like anyone could fuck anyone at this point, you know, like, it’s sort of like, okay, what’s what’s going to happen for the night? And we see David hitting on Gazelle, who has sort of been rebuffed by Omar. But I think just because Omar is fucked up. But you know, it’s sort of like talking to David, like obviously flattered. But then Riley comes over and Gazelle says, I’m out of here. Again if this is turning into a threesome and David pushes Riley away, now Riley feels dejected. And then everyone sort of like on the dance floor, like shit’s getting popping. And then Ivana tells Psyché, I’m really out of it. And we start to see people start to realize, like, oh, okay, this is more than just we’re all drunk. 


Alison Leiby: This isn’t just. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Alison. Psyché walks out onto the dance floor and just starts pissing on the floor. 


Alison Leiby: Not great. 


Halle Kiefer: And finally, I ask you also, what would you do? 


[voice over]: What would you do? 


Alison Leiby: I mean, this is when I’m like. I’m going to put myself to bed. Like, sometimes, like things get out of hand. You’re like, I’m going to remove myself from the situation depending on my level of like.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Fucked up and be like, if this is what I don’t want to be a part of. What gets worse than this? 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: [AD BREAK]


Halle Kiefer: And I think like if you’re Psyché, I guess we’re at this point we think like, Oh, she’s so fucked up. It’s just, you know, she’s pissing. And then for everyone else, I feel like they are also fucked up. But the one person who sort of springs in actually even though she is deeply fucked up, is Selva. So Selva see’s this as like, What the fuck’s going on? She runs over to Daddy to be like, Hey, do you know what, I feel weird. Are you okay? And but he’s just assuming like, Oh, you’re drunk, you’re coked out. Like we’re just dancing. And he is right, because, like, we’re all fine. Like, we’re still safe. Like, everyone’s just too fucked up, you know? Like, don’t worry about it. And so she runs Selva runs up to Emmanuelle and says, What did you do? And Emmanuelle says, What do you mean, what did I do? Lou, being one of the two sober people, comes over, says, What’s going on? Like, let’s figure this out. And Selva goes to get a towel for  Psyché because she’s pissed all over herself. And David tries to be like, What’s going on? You know, is everyone okay? And Selva, for reasons that are unclear but seems to stem from there, creating this trip together. Selva goes up to Emmanuelle and says, You spiked the punch. And Emmanuelle says, No the fuck I didn’t. And if the punch is spiked, which as soon as you said it, I agree with you. I drank it too. So now Emmanuelle starts freaking out because she has her kid here. 


Alison Leiby: Right. Right. 


Halle Kiefer: Emmanuelle runs over to Daddy and says, Oh, fuck the punch has been spiked and Daddy’s like Oh, that’s why I feel like shit. So everyone immediately realizes they’ve been drugged.


Alison Leiby: Clocks it. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: That’s good. That. That’s like that. Everybody’s still, like, aware enough to be like, this isn’t just drunk. Something else is happening. Like. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: We’ve consumed it, but like, we’re aware of it. 


Halle Kiefer: Unfortunately, everyone is extremely mad about this, which you would be. 


Alison Leiby: Well, you would be. 


Halle Kiefer: And so they’re all kind of starting to try to figure out who would have fucking done this. Everyone’s pissed. Gazelle again, Gazelle’s like, Oh, Emmanuelle did it. I’m on board with Selva, Selva. But Emmanuelle says again, I drank it. My child is here. I wouldn’t have done that. This is my dance troupe. I’m not going to fuck this all up. And Taylor immediately, because he already hates Omar for dating his sister. Taylor immediately points to Omar and says he didn’t drink it. I know it was him because he hates Omar and he’s like, possessive of his sister. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: And so all of the guys who, again, are fucked up grab Omar while Gazelle is screaming and sobbing and throw him out in the snow. Obviously everyone is sort of like things have gone from bad to worse. Right. Basically, we’re like, things are bad and we’ve escalated to we are all out of it. So we are throwing people out into the snow, you know, while they themselves are also so drunk that we have set up a dangerous precedent of what’s going to be happening, such as people are being put outside of the building. Right. But everyone is so fucked up that like, no one is coherently thinking about that. They’re just mad at Omar. So they threw him out of the building. Alaïa finally says, Wait, so where, is this LSD? Where, is this acid? How do you come down from that? [both speaking] Like, how do we what do we do? 


Alison Leiby: Right? What do we do? Is this a time thing? Is it going to get worse? Like, where are we in this process? 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. But someone I think Selva says, well, honestly, the only time I’ve done it, the only way I’ve been able to come down is coke. So Alaïa goes, oh, I’ll ask the coke head. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: And goes to Jennifer. But Jennifer says I’m out of coke. Can’t help you. David comes over and says, Emmanuelle, your son. And Emmanuelle turns around and fucking Tito is back awake and is drinking more of the punch. 


Alison Leiby: I mean, get. Move the punch out of his reach. At least.


Halle Kiefer: Also, Yeah. What’s the likelihood that kid was going to stay in bed? Unfortunately Alison she would she, Emmanuelle then just makes what I think is the biggest mistake of the movie, which is she takes Tito and tries to find a room with a lock and the only room with a lock. Well, it’s the electrical closet. And she puts him inside screaming and crying. [clip from Climax] Because she’s also on acid. 


Alison Leiby: Of course. 


Halle Kiefer: And she says, stay there. And there’s an electrical box. And she says, don’t touch it. And locks him in. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: Selva tries, and with a physical key. And Selva tries to intervene and say, what are you doing? Like, just put it back in his bed. But Emmanuelle, again, is like panicking. She’s freaking out. And I think we’re supposed to think like she’s trying to protect her son from you people like the corroding effect of drugs and, like, dance and sex like I am. I’m literally. I’m taking a child and putting him away because I don’t want you people. But meanwhile, like, he would be fine if you just put him in his room, you know? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: But I think maybe because the Omar thing, I understand her being concerned about people being thrown out of the building in the snow. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: We see Selva wandering, so basically a lot of the movie takes place on the dance floor and then this long corridor to the dorm type area. So obviously this must have been like a boarding school because there’s a lot of like dorms for students to live in. And she walks past Ivana and Psyché fighting in the hallway. And anytime anyone’s in the hallway, we could hear Tito screaming from the closet and screaming for his mother. And we see Ivana following Selva obviously interested in Selva was trying to talk to her, but Selva walks down to Lou’s room where Lou is vomiting. Ivana tries to talk to Selva and Selva pushes her away, and Selva says, Oh, did you did you drink it, too? Is that why you’re sick? And Lou says, No, I’m pregnant. She actually says, I have something growing in my tummy. And Selva says, Like what? Which I thought was very funny. 


Alison Leiby: That’s really funny. 


Halle Kiefer: And very funny delivery. But it’s also like she’s just so stoned. She’s like, Oh, my God, what? And Lou says, I’m pregnant. And Selva says, Well, what are you going to do? Also, do you know who the dad is? And Lou says, I don’t know and I don’t know. 


Alison Leiby: Oof tough. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, that’s a tough—


Alison Leiby: Well, that second. I don’t know. Kind of informs that first I don’t know a little bit, in my book.


Halle Kiefer: Well and I mean we have a similar book I think we checked the same book out of the old library. 


Alison Leiby: Checked out the book from the library. 


Halle Kiefer: I see your notes on the margin if I remember. Have to take that book out. Don comes to the door and asked what’s going on? And says, Now she’s like, wait a minute. We thought it was Omar. But you didn’t drink either, Lou. You did it. So then she immediately turns on Lou. 


Alison Leiby: It’s like this woman has enough going on now, she’s not trying to, like, add things to her plate, like drugging an entire dance troupe. And lying about it.


Halle Kiefer: The only thing worse is what we’ve seen from here. The only thing worse than getting drugged is being the two people who were not drugged. Because then everyone starts freaking out on you and Dom says, Why? Why are you throwing up the drink? 


Alison Leiby: And you’re left, like with a little like holding the bag of responsibility to be like, okay, well, you guys are all too fucked up and going to get worse. Like, I’m going to need to like. 


Halle Kiefer: Right. 


Alison Leiby: Step in here and like, run the show and you all think I did it. 


Halle Kiefer: And also I have terrible morning sickness. I’m vomiting. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, right. 


Halle Kiefer: And Dom says so we threw Omar out in the snow for no reason, when you did. Selva says No, no, she didn’t. We just see Lou say don’t tell anyone I’m pregnant. Selva says she’s pregnant. Leave her alone. And Dom says I don’t believe it. And punches Lou in the stomach. And when Lou falls to the ground, Dom kicks her in the abdomen. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, my God. 


Halle Kiefer: I know things. Things go from bad to fucking a lot worse in this movie real quick. So Lou is screaming and crying and begging them to call an ambulance. And I think we don’t see it, but I think someone must have called the authorities at some point because later, you know, we’ll see. But unfortunately, it’s they’re not going to show up any time soon. And we realize that Lou is the character we saw in the snow at the beginning, screaming, covered in blood. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: So she’s obviously panicking. You know, Selva’s trying to help her. And we start to, like, follow other characters. Ivana runs in and we follow Ivana back down the hall. But again, she’s so fucked up. By the time she gets to the kitchen area, she’s already forgotten why she was walking. And we see Alaïa find Jennifer doing coke. It’s like, you bitch, you lied. You said you didn’t have coke. She’s doing, Jennifer’s doing coke near a lit like a butane lighter, like a camping lighter. 


Alison Leiby: Jesus.


Halle Kiefer: Alaïa shoves her. 


Alison Leiby: Oh. 


Halle Kiefer: Jennifer’s hair catches on fire and goes up in flames. And Alaïa is laughing and laughing. And we see. We see Lou, like, stagger past them, you know, clutching her abdomen. We see Eva attack Lou, shoving her, being like, You fucking drugged us. I know it. I know you’re not pregnant. And we see Lou is going back to the dance floor to find Dom and is screaming, I’m going to kill you. Meanwhile, Alison, we hear Tito screaming this entire time. So every time they walk down this part of the hallway, we hear a child screaming. 


Alison Leiby: Oh God. 


Halle Kiefer: And what I think having read a little bit about the movies like Gaspar Noé was like, I want to I want to you feel like you’re in a nightmare. Like we are evoking a visceral. 


Alison Leiby: Well done and done. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, exactly. So again, it’s less about like, oh, we’re solving a mystery. It’s like you are in hell and you’re feeling these people that everyone is sort of pulling apart sort of in their breakdown. Unfortunately, Alison. Lou does find Dom in the room where everyone is, and we say, like, everyone’s sort of like dancing, which I’m like, already like excited. Like, all right, we’re going to see some real fucking dancing here in a minute. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And David’s grinding on Gazelle, you know, now that Omar’s outside, like, trying to, like, you know, Taylor runs over and separates them. And to be fair, that one, I’m like, okay, like, Gazelle is 20 and like, everyone is fucked up and David is creepy. So I understand. Like, getting in the middle of that. But Lou and Dom really get into it and Dom turns everyone on her and says, like, this dumb bitch we threw out Omar. You know, I don’t believe you’re pregnant. If you’re pregnant, who’s the father? I bet it’s David, that fucking slut. Everyone’s just  like, in her face. It’s very Carrie. Like, plug it up. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, yeah, yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Like, now everyone’s around her. Like, you got to. We know you fucking did it. Fuck you. Dom pushes Lou against the table and Lou grabs a knife. 


Alison Leiby: Not great. 


Halle Kiefer: And everyone’s sort of like screaming at her and they scream at her. Kill yourself. [clip from Climax] And she takes the knife and she just starts slashing her arms and then drags the knife across her face. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: Finally, Eva runs over to stop her and grab her hand and say, This isn’t your fault. Stop. And she does. Meanwhile, we see David keeps trying to fuck Selva. Like, grab Selva by the arm. Selva is completely out of it. Selva kicks him away. And there’s this very viscerally upsetting and effective sequence where she’s following Selva from behind, and she’s walking from the sort of dance floor into the hallway. And David’s just frustrated because he can’t fuck her. So he’s like punching the walls, punching the doors right behind her. But it’s like not talking to her and she’s not reacting to it that I was like that. It’s sort of like getting into like the other stuff earlier about like the control of women sexuality. Like he’s not going to punch her, but he’s punching the wall near her head. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And she is sort of like just ignoring it because it’s so all pervasive, you know. So they walk out of the hall, where again we hear Tito screaming, but at least every time with Tito screaming, it’s  like at least he’s alive, you know, like, okay. And finally, David grabs Selva and she turns and she screams. She shrieks into his face and he lets go of her. And we see them walking down the main hall. And again, like it’s like they’re moving from red light into green. It’s just like upsetting, nightmare situation. And it reminded me of this one time I was at a party it was in Brooklyn and they had this little weed cookies and I had one of those and then I ate what I thought was an actual brownie. I probably set this on the podcast before. 


Alison Leiby: Oh no. No.


Halle Kiefer: I oh, of course. As soon as I ate this entire brownie, which was delicious, it didn’t taste like weed at all or else, I would have noticed. 


Alison Leiby: That’s what’s so dangerous about. Very good edibles.


Halle Kiefer: Oh my God. I look and there’s someone who has very carefully put a note saying, just, you know, there’s are weed brownies. Alison. I sat on the couch and I entered a realm and I looked around and I was like, oh, no. I also had already been drinking. I looked. 


Alison Leiby: Well. Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Around I said, Oh no, it is all a video game and we are all just in it. And then I said, Oh, no, wait, it’s not even a video game. It’s a movie. 


Alison Leiby: Oh no. 


Halle Kiefer: We’re in a movie and there’s nothing I could do because I can’t move. And luckily my friend Julie Rosing, I just saw it Friday came over and was like, Hey, how you doing? I said, Not good. 


Alison Leiby: Not good. 


Halle Kiefer: And this guy who I was seeing took me home and while we were in the cab, I looked outside like I knew it. It was Cleveland the whole time. And that’s why I said it’s like, unfortunately, this is—


Alison Leiby: That’s what this is. Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Well, like, suddenly. 


Alison Leiby: Full dissociation.


Halle Kiefer: Like. Every new room you walk into, you’re like, Oh, God, it’s Cleveland. Like, you’re just so out of it. And so Selva walks to the kitchenette area and then freaks out and we get again the dance into just the physical writhing like it’s a dance into body horror. She’s screaming and writhing, like throwing herself throw itself against the wall. She like it’s like. Like humping the wall. And I wrote, Is this what acid is? I don’t know. I have I haven’t done it. And we also hear Lou screaming. Lou is still screaming. I mean, she’s cut herself. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: We see this great scene where Selva sort of puts her hands in her tights and like just like give like sort of tights are so tight so she like, pulls it off of her stomach. It’s like, well been there girl. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. I mean any time I’ve worn tights. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And I did. This is probably emotionally where I’m at three days of the month where it’s like that real. I’m going to burn out a church feeling and then she looks down and her arms are caught in her tights. Like she suddenly feels like, Oh, no, my arms are now part of my tights. And you see her like, Oh no, I can’t remove my hands, even though obviously she can. So she runs down the hallway like terrified and screaming. 


Alison Leiby: Oh my God. 


Halle Kiefer: Because her hands are caught and she like tears off her sweater. It also made me think of that story about like, a town that danced until people died. Do you remember that?


Alison Leiby: No.


Halle Kiefer: A little dancing madness. I don’t know why I thought you would know that this obscure. You know.


Alison Leiby: No.


Halle Kiefer: Phenomenon. Yes. So it’s called dancing mania also known as dancing plague. Choreomania which I fucking love, St. John’s Dance. 


Alison Leiby: Choreomania. 


Halle Kiefer: Tarantism and St Vitus’ Dance. It’s a social phenomenon that occurred primarily in mainland Europe between the 17th, the 14th and 17th century. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, I thought it was like a current thing. 


Halle Kiefer: No. 


Alison Leiby: When you asked me about it.


Halle Kiefer: I’m sorry. No, it is a historical phenomenon in which people dance erratically, sometimes thousands of people at a time. And they would and also children would dance till they collapsed from exhaustion and injury. And this is actually happened numerous times. I personally think that this is a reaction to extremely restrictive religious environments. If I had to guess. 


Alison Leiby: Absolutely. 


Halle Kiefer: And so you’re so you’re like you’re watching this dance mania of like people sort of like leaving normal life or a normal society through dance and like through their body. We see Emmanuelle sobbing at the door of the electrical closet. Alison. She has lost the key to the electrical closet. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, my God. 


Halle Kiefer: But fortunately, we can still hear Tito inside. And Selva screams at her, then go find it and shoves Emmanuelle away. And she’s trying to talk to Tito through the door, and she’s sobbing. And from the closet, Tito says, there’s something moving in here. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: And Selva says, Don’t worry, we’re just having a party out here. We’re just having a party. But he’s screaming, Maman, Maman. Over and over and over again. And Selva walks to the dance floor. And we see, just like all the incredible shots of people just randomly dancing to this chaos. So Kyrra, the character, is just standing behind her, like, popping and locking under this green light. And like, just like this. Like these little tiny solos in the middle of all of this chaos. His name is Alou Sidibe. Please look up the cast and please follow the about every social media. They are really excellent. I’m assuming they’re I hope they’re still dancing. I don’t know anyone’s career, but it was only 2018. So I imagine people are out here. So incredible. We see again David is hounding Selva. Grabs Selva again. And finally all the other guys jump David and start beating the hell out of him. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: We see Gazelle is trying to put her lipstick on one of the other guys and flirt with him, and he kind of pushes her away. And Gazelle sees that, Taylor sees that his sister’s shirt is unbuttoned and her lipsticks all over, and he grabs her lipstick. Lipstick and goes to David and draws a swastika on his forehead and screams, you white piece of shit. And then he he’s just sort of like grabbing grabbing Silva and pushing her on the dance floor like everyone’s starting to spiral. Selva goes over to Daddy, who’s let down his hair and has, like, this long, curly blond mermaid hair. He’s like this this big, tall Black man with, like, this, like, beautiful blond, like Disney princess hair. It’s so good. But he’s—


Alison Leiby: Agreed. 


Halle Kiefer: —also. He’s like, kind of pushes her away and she’s begging him like, please, please. And we see Daddy drop to the ground and he starts, like, dancing and writhing. And we look over and Gazelle is pouring herself more punch. And it’s just like a very funny visual punchline at this point to be like, Well, I might as well have a little more sangria, if we, we’re going to be out here. And we see Gazelle and Daddy are starting to dance. And we see some of the guys smear what I believe is dip all over their bodies so they’re like using. 


Alison Leiby: Ew. 


Halle Kiefer: Paint, like like food as paint. And then finally we see Emmanuelle is literally on her hands and knees when the lights start to flicker. And she screams, Tito, I’ve killed him. Tito. He’s fried. I’ve killed him. And she falls to the ground. And things really start to go devolve from here. The music drops off, but luckily, Cyborg has a boombox, and they’re playing music. Everyone cheers. And we see Ivana pulls Selva into the hallway again and sort of try to seduce her once again. And Emmanuelle’s pounding on the door of the electrical closet and screaming, begging Tito, open the door, which he cannot do because you have locked it. 


Alison Leiby: You locked it. 


Halle Kiefer: And Ivana sort of leads Selva to her dorm room, and they walk past Eva, who’s naked in the shower, scrubbing off Lou’s blood from when Lou stabbed or cut herself earlier. She says the blood. I’m cleaning off the blood. And we see this moment before Ivana drags Selva into this room. And you’re not sure if she’s trying to seduce her, but you don’t. They’re both so fucked up. Like you don’t know exactly like if Selva’s on board. And Ivana, like, pulls off her shirt, and they get on the bed and they’re sort of starting to hook up. And then David barges in and grabs Selva again. And Selva locks herself in another room. And David’s sobbing like his refusal by all these women is like he’s having a breakdown. Like the idea that. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: The idea that any of these women wouldn’t fuck him. He is losing his mind. 


Alison Leiby: Losing his mind. Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And we see Daddy walk by and says, Let the girls be. And he Daddy finds Riley who’s sobbing, and there’s a sweet moment with them where, like, Daddy like takes Riley says, it’s okay. We’re home. And Riley’s like. Like, you know, they’re sort of like, rocking and both shirtless. And David arrives at the door and both Daddy and Riley, go say, Get out of here. [laughs] Alison. David staggers into the restroom and sees Taylor about to fuck his sister, Gazelle. 


Alison Leiby: All right. 


Halle Kiefer: And David grabs Taylor and pulls him away. And Gazelle again, super fucked up, runs down the hallway, and we follow her running. And we also, as she passes, she sees Emmanuelle screaming and freaking out, saying, I’m going to kill myself. I’m going to kill myself. And we see Gazelle run onto the dance floor with Taylor right behind her. And this is like the most intense and horrible part of this. And I also think it’s so well done. Like, there’s something about like, well, I’ll just describe it and I feel like it’s just like, this is a very hard moment in any movie, but I feel like it is earned. And I think you could have this kind of moment in this but basically, like the entire frame is inverted and everything is red. So it looks like people are dancing on the ceiling, like they’re writhing around demonic on the ceiling. And Taylor runs over to her and says to Gazelle, you know, don’t tell mom and dad. Don’t tell mom and dad. And he tells her, I love you. I love you. And he says, we’ll go to New York. I’ll make you happy. And it’s sort of like what I took from that is like this is a complete projection. Like, it’s like you have violated this, like, the most intimate relationship you could have with somebody because you’ve decided that you love her. Like you’re trying to explain, like, how could you do something like that? And meanwhile, she’s just crying and sobbing and we hear her kick him away. And from here on out, it’s just bodies. So it’s just like writhing bodies. There’s a couple who’s just fucking or, you know, they’re sort of just fucking on the dance floor and everyone is just like either screaming or fucking or dancing or both and then crawling around through sort of the midst of bodies. And we see Gazelle start to have a seizure, I presume, from the drugs or just a stylistic choice. And her eyes roll back and she starts white foam starts coming out of her mouth, and Taylor grabs her and says, No you’re my world. You’re my world. And she falls unconscious. But fortunately, she sort of, like perks up and she’s awake and he says, You’re everything to me. And we look up and we see somebody and I’m like, Who the fuck is that? It is Psyché. 


Alison Leiby: Oh good a new character?


Halle Kiefer: It’s it, it’s literally, it’s Psyché. I don’t know why I thought this thought this character was so forgettable. Like, who’s this. Oh right. We’ll see her a million times. 


Alison Leiby: With this many people. 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. 


Alison Leiby: Some people are just going to look like strangers every time. 


Halle Kiefer: I was like, Who is this white woman? I was like, I thought I knew all the white women. It’s just because she changed her shirt? I was like, this is too many, you know, and this is why everyone needs to have a very, I literally need to have characters like look like I guess who, like, I be like big glasses. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Orange hair, big shirt, like, I just need. 


Alison Leiby: A hat. 


Halle Kiefer: And we see David crawling around amidst all the bodies. He’s begging, please, please, presumably, please, somebody fuck me. And we hear as people are dancing, we hear like bones popping. This is where we hear the fluid hit the ground. We don’t even see what it is. And somebody grabs David. We hear a voice yell, Do it, do it, do it. And one of the dancers picks him up and slams David’s head against the floor. Alison. At this point in the film, we’ve only got about 12 minutes left. Who will survive? 


[voice over]: Who will survive? 


Alison Leiby: This feels like one of those ones where it’s like either like everyone dies. Or almost everyone survives. 


Halle Kiefer: Mm. Which one do you think it is. 


Alison Leiby: I think it’s going to be that like maybe there’s one death. I mean, getting your head slammed into the ground feels pretty fatal. Who’s that? David, I’m not going to guess people’s names. What are you talking about? Like what?  


Halle Kiefer: Well so Omar was thrown outside. And David’s head was slammed on the ground. And Tito is locked inside the closet [both speaking] and we have not seen him physically with our eyes in a while. 


Alison Leiby: I’m going to guess that he actually did escape that room and that everybody’s hallucinating, that he’s still in it.


Halle Kiefer: Okay, great. 


Alison Leiby: And. And he survives. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay, great. Yeah. There’s simply too many other people. I think you’re right. 


Alison Leiby: I cannot go through who is alive and dead at the end of the thing. 




Halle Kiefer: Alison. Text on the screen that reads, Life is a collective impossibility. Alison. We see the door open, and it’s morning. And we see the light from the door fall on David’s, I believe, dead face. It could he could just be unconscious as well. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. Yeah, but. Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And we see at the door, what appears to be, I would say, Mounties. Clearly. I mean, they’re like the cops who also have a police dog with them, which makes me think like, somebody must have called somebody because otherwise, like, how else would they have like, it’s the next day. It wasn’t like, this is something that like, how would they have even known to come you know what I mean?


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay. There’s a song that plays. And I thought this song that was starting I thought was Hotel California, which would have been. [both speaking] But also I guess it’s Angie by the Rolling Stones, but it’s just like the instrumental. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And I just looked this up and apparently Gaspar Noé, they asked him sort of about the songs and they’re talking about Angie. They said, We tried several songs, including Hotel California. 


Alison Leiby: Oh my God. So that clearly was in line with what they were going for. 


Halle Kiefer: I think Hotel California women funnier, but I understand maybe you didn’t want to have something quite as silly.


Alison Leiby: Not wanting it to be funny. Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. But it’s just the start of like. That’s a very funny song to end on. And the thing is, we are now surveying the scene, there are bodies all over the floor. And again, I love that you don’t know right away. You’re you’re staring at these guys to see if there’s any movement whatsoever. The only person still dancing, my least favorite the dud herself Psyché we see Dom sobbing in a chair alive and sort of we’re watching like are they start to move. We see Jennifer is putting water on her singed scalp, crying. Jesus. Unfortunately, Alison, we see Tito lying inside the closet and the electrical cabinet is open. And we don’t definitively know, but it seems pretty clear that he did touch it and he did die. And outside the door, Emmanuelle has killed herself, has slit her wrists. And the police go. And because that what I’m like, oh, maybe we’ll look at she’ll move a little bit or like Tito will, but they literally make a point. The police come and check her and they say she’s dead. 


Alison Leiby: To be like she’s yeah, they’re dead. 


Halle Kiefer: And we’re still now we’re still inverting, we’re traveling upside down through the snow filled world to the outside. And we see as in the beginning, we see Lou, staggering, still alive, though, in the snow screaming and on the screen upside down. We see death is an extraordinary experience. And, Alison, we see a man’s body in the snow. And unfortunately, it is Omar and he is completely frozen and covered. We see Eva. She was washing the blood off in the shower. She’s still there. We see Daddy and Riley asleep in bed, and I’m not sure whether we think that they hooked up, but maybe. 


Alison Leiby: Sure. 


Halle Kiefer: And Taylor wakes up next to Gazelle. Fucking yikes. But then he tells her nothing happened. Nothing happened. And she says, Well, what do you mean? And he says, Don’t tell Dad. And she doesn’t reply. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, okay. 


Halle Kiefer: Ivana wakes up Ivana and Selva are sleeping naked with each other and we see Psyché again. The last woman standing go back to her dorm and start to pack her little bag and we see her take out a dropper and put LSD in her eyes. The person who must have drugged the drugged the punch. And I wrote in my notes, I knew I hated that bitch. And we fade to the white of the snow. Alison. 


Alison Leiby: Wow. 


Halle Kiefer: The Climax. So what are some fatal mistakes you think may have been made in the movie Climax? 


[voice over]: Fatal mistakes. 


Alison Leiby: Drugging the punch of the party. It goes without saying. Putting Tito in the electrical closet as the safe space. 


Halle Kiefer: I mean, that was I mean, just put him in his room. At least there’s no electric cabinet there. 


Alison Leiby: Any other room would have been fine. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: And beyond that, it’s like, I don’t know, I’ve raised like at a point like, yeah, there were people kind of like fucking with each other and being dickheads, but like. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Also like, don’t like throw someone out in the snow even if you think that they may have drugged you. That’s not nice. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And after that, like it’s sort of like it is all of their collapsing like humanity, like everyone. They did it. This became this collective Gasper Noé was talking about like, in one of these interviews was like, I don’t want there to be a moral like, oh, you know, a mother died or whatever. It’s like, I want this to be a group of people made a huge collective mistake. And there’s something about that. 


Alison Leiby: But like only person made the mistake. 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. Yeah, I guess it’s like, I guess we’re to think they shouldn’t have spiraled out of control. Everyone should have just gone to their rooms and lied down. But honestly—


Alison Leiby: But like no one’s gonna do that. 


Halle Kiefer: No. 


Alison Leiby:  Why did she do it? Just chaos?


Halle Kiefer: Listen, in Berlin, things are, like, really crazy there. You know what I mean? 


Alison Leiby: I guess. 


Halle Kiefer: And there is like, where it’s like, oh, the art scene everyone’s doing putting acid in their eyes. Like we. It’s like, oh, I wanted them to wake up, you know? But we don’t get any of her rationalizations. 


Alison Leiby: We don’t really get a motive from her. It’s just like. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, and I want to say, this actress was good even though I eat from jump could not fucking stand this character. 


Alison Leiby: But I mean obviously that was. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: The intention. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Thea Carla Schøtt.


Alison Leiby: Successful acting.


Halle Kiefer: She was great. Couldn’t stand her. I’m not fake. You’re boring. It’s like, uh oh, in some ways it’s  that you better just check the punch. 


Alison Leiby: Stay away from them. 


Halle Kiefer: Check the fucking punch. Then finally, where would you put Climax on the spooky scale? Alison? 


[voice over]: A spooky scale. 


Alison Leiby: I think that this is a five. For that like kind of like that dread, that kind of like, I know we’re running up to something. What is it? And also the fear of like, a child locked in a room in danger is very scary. Kicking a pregnant women in the stomach is scary. Like there are there are like scary elements, but it feels more like an interesting artistic, though like, dreadful vibe. I would say. This is a five. And Enrique Iglesias humping the stage for 45 seconds at his concert is an eight. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay. [both speaking] Yeah, I think you’re absolutely right. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Where would you. Place this?


Halle Kiefer: That’s a great question because I really liked it, but it wasn’t scary. 


Alison Leiby: Super scary. Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: I’ll give it a five as well. Yeah, I really liked it. 


Alison Leiby: Where would you put Enrique. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, an 11. A huge—


Alison Leiby: Yeah, actually, I want to go above the scale. Yeah, he’s an 11. Super, super spooky. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Yeah. Again, that really. That really stuck with me, you know? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, well, it will for a while. And now that you’ve watched it and we’ve talked about it, I’m sure you’ll get served some of it on your computer, on your phone when you are next on the Internet. 


Halle Kiefer: Listen, art, is art is, what I believe art is. It must evoke something in us. And seeing him that do what he did evoked within me despair and terror that I really I’m. I’m. Frankly, it makes me feel alive. I’m glad to have seen it. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. We share it now. Well, thank you for joining us for another wild party for December being party month. 


Halle Kiefer: Well. We really appreciate it. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. We’ll see you next time. And until then, please. 


Halle Kiefer: Please. 


Alison Leiby: Keep spooky. Bye. Don’t forget to follow us at Ruined podcasts and Crooked Media for show updates. And if you’re as opinionated as we are, consider dropping us a review. Ruined is a Radio Point and Crooked Media production, we’re your writers and hosts Halle Kiefer and Alison Leiby. The show is executive produced by Alex Bach, Sabrina Fonfeder and Houston Snyder, and recorded and edited by Kat Iossa. From Crooked Media our executive producer is Kendra James with production and promotional support from Ari Schwartz, Kyle Seglin, Julia Beach, Caroline Dunphy, and Ewa Okulate.