Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Cannes 2012 Official Selection Preview - Post Tenebras Lux by Carlos Reygadas

The much awaited (by me) semi-autobiographical fiction film by outstanding master filmmaker Carlos Reygadas that with only three feature-length films has established himself as one of the most prominent master filmmakers in contemporary world cinema and one of the most adored directors by me, mainly because his breathtaking realistic visuals, outstanding framing/compositions and stories that blow and could shock your mind is finally here. For me he does films that are the complete "package", the complete filmmaking/storytelling experience where everything you see and everything you hear are seen and hear at the right moment, in the right sequence and with the right storytelling technique. So close to perfection. This is what I expect from his latest oeuvre.

There is no doubt in my mind that Post Tenebras Lux, Latin for Light After Darkness, will have breathtaking images and you'll agree while watching these stunning images.

Clearly we can see that Reygadas realistic approach to visuals style is in these pictures as it is in his own description about what film is all about. At the 2010 Berlinale Reygadas told Variety what follows.

"Lux" will be about "feelings, memories, dreams, things I've hoped for, fears, facts of my current life," ... "reason will intervene as little as possible, like an expressionist painting where you try to express what you're feeling through the painting rather than depict what something looks like,".

Those comments absolutely blow my mind as tell about something I have always appreciated in great films, visuals that I can compare to paintings, that allow me to have an experience similar to when I see a great paint but also a great photography, a sculpture, a miraculous piece of architecture, and in a few words, a work of art.

The synopsis is puzzling especially when you add his own comments as we can see that hardly fits them; but no worries, most of Reygadas film synopsis have truly very little to do with the cinematic experience you live while watching them.

Juan and his young urban family live in the countryside of Mexico. There, they enjoy and suffer a world that understands life in a different way. Juan wonders if those worlds are complementary or, truly, they fight unconsciously to eliminate one another.

So I suggest to place our attention into the gorgeous visuals as if narrative will have very little reason, then this will be another very visual film.

Carlos Reygadas in Cannes

Reygadas opens his Cannes relationship in 2002 when his debut film Japon is screened at a parallel section and goes to win a Caméra d'Or Special Mention; in 2005 comes back with his second film, Batalla en el Cielo (Battle in Heaven) competing for the Palme d'Or. His third film Silent Light competes for the 2007 Palme d'Or and goes to win the Jury Prize ex aequo with Persepolis.

I believe that Reygadas has a long and fruitful cinema career ahead and know that eventually will win the Palme d'Or; but even do probably could deserve it with this film, this year eclectic jury could find film odd and "too different". Still I have my hopes as Reygadas has a solid history with the festival and maybe, only maybe, could get some significant recognition. Buzz around serious movie sites is high and positive especially after the release of the photographs, some predict it as the top winner. If Reygadas' Post Tenebras Lux wins the top award there will be a BIG party here.

A must be seen movie for me and one that I highly recommend even if I haven't seen it. If you're not familiar with the work of this director my best suggestion is to start watching him chronologically, first Japon, followed by Battle in Heaven and last, Silent Light; after the feature-length movies watch his shorts.

Film Specs
Directed by Carlos Reygadas
Written by Carlos Reygadas
Starring: Non-professional actors. Adolfo Jimenez, Natalia Acevedo, Willebaldo Torres, Eleazar Reygadas and Rut Reygadas
Language: Spanish
Nationality: Majority Mexican (France, Mexico, Netherlands)
Runtime: 2h
Production year: 2011

There is no trailer yet but a clip is promised as "coming soon" at Matarraya twitter account.

End Notes
Post Tenebras Lux at Cannes site go here.
Reygadas in Cannes go here.
Topkapi Films go here.
Le Pacte go here.
Unifrance go here.

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