Sunday, July 7, 2013

Carlos Reygadas' new film "Post Tenebras Lux" at NWFF: Jul 26 - Aug 1

One week only at Northwest Film Forum! Carlos Reygadas' "Post Tenebras Lux" finally arrives stateside after it's divided reception at Cannes in 2012 and Reygadas' unfazed, charismatic response. Glad as I am that we're able to see it in the theater, this is again an example of works that won prestigious awards at the world's most significant film festival (Best Director in this case) not being given distribution for over a year. Desirably challenging and certifiably defiant of the status-quo, Regadas' work can also be willfully difficult to the point of being obtuse, his "Battle in Heaven" representational of these trappings in my mind. Conversely and even concurrently, he makes some of the most gorgeous, powerfully naturist, intimate cinema being created in the world. 2007's "Silent Light" almost achieving a Carl Theodor Dreyer-like total reverie. It's this latter category that I'd describe "Post Tenebras Lux" falling into, as Manohla Dargis' "Juggling Primal Conflicts of Innocence and Sin" and Dennis Lim's "All the Dreaminess of Reality" for the New York Times both suggest. It's a curious film placing Reygadas in a sphere with the one director I see taking similar risks, making unconventional choices, upsetting audience expectations, his Russian compatriot of sorts, Aleksandr Sokurov. These two directors doing more in the way of inventive new approach to narrative, cinematography and perspective of the viewer, than whole other genres of film. And like Sokurov's "Faust" there are 'special effects' to be found in Reygadas' most recent film. Concerning which, I will say no more.