Gaspar Noé’s corrosive and shocking 1998 portrait of lumpen-proletarian xenophobia, alienation, and violence in 1980 France suggests a remake of Taxi Driver by Alain Robbe-Grillet—or a color and ‘Scope extension of Jean-Luc Godard’s Masculine-Feminine in which that film’s punctuating offscreen gunshots are integrated into the narrative structure, forcing us to share the edgy, vengeful fantasies of a bitter, unemployed middle-aged butcher with a gun (Philippe Nahon). Noé, a French filmmaker born in Argentina, made a 40-minute narrative about the same character in 1991 (Carne); this film summarizes it in the opening minutes but, formally as well as ideologically, marks a considerable advance. Despite the extremely violent scenes at the beginning and end, this is shocking mainly for the mental climate it reproduces, the foulness of its language (which miraculously reinvents obscenity at a time when other movies seem to have exhausted it), the harsh accuracy of its working-class iconography, and the aggressiveness of its formal tactics, which are pressed to admirable didactic ends and calculated to make you squirm. A masterpiece of some kind, though clearly destined to be controversial and contested everywhere it shows—not only for the sexist, racist, and homophobic rage it exposes but also for its brilliant confrontational style.