Post Tenebras Lux (film)

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Post Tenebras Lux
Post Tenebras Lux (film).jpg
Directed by Carlos Reygadas
Produced by Jaime Romandia
Carlos Reygadas
Written by Carlos Reygadas
Starring Adolfo Jiménez Castro
Nathalia Acevedo
Cinematography Alexis Zabé
Edited by Natalia López
Production
  company
NoDreamsCinema
Mantarraya Producciones
Le Pacte
Topkapi Films
Distributed by NDMantarraya
Release date(s)
  • May 24, 2012 (2012-05-24) (Cannes)
Running time 120 minutes
Country Mexico
France
Netherlands
Language Spanish
French
English

Post Tenebras Lux is a 2012 drama film written and directed by Carlos Reygadas. The title is Latin for "Light after darkness". The film is semi-autobiographical, and the narrative follows a rural couple in Mexico, with additional scenes from England, Spain and Belgium; all places where Reygadas has lived. The film competed in competition at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival[1][2] and Reygadas won the Best Director Award.[3]

Cast[edit]

  • Adolfo Jiménez Castro as Juan
  • Nathalia Acevedo as Nathalia
  • Willebaldo Torres as "Seven"
  • Rut Reygadas as Rut
  • Eleazar Reygadas as Eleazar

Production[edit]

Carlos Reygadas began to develop the idea for the film when he was building his house in the state of Morelos, Mexico. Reygadas would take frequent walks around the mountains and wanted to turn those experiences into a film.[4] He envisioned it as a work where "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".[5] Many story elements are directly autobiographical, although the director has stressed that the film is partially about desire and fantasies, so everything has not taken place in reality. The rugby sequence was inspired by the director's time as a student in England, where he enjoyed the sport.[4] The film was produced by Jaime Romandía and Carlos Reygadas through their companies Mantarraya Producciones and NoDreamsCinema. It was co-produced by France's Le Pacte and Dutch Topkapi Films.[5] It was also backed by Arte France Cinéma.[6]

The film was made in the 4:3 aspect ratio because of the landscape with steep mountains, and to achieve compositions with a clearly framed centre. Exterior scenes were shot with a distortion effect around the edges; this was inspired by the impressionists and their fascination with outdoors motifs, as well as by the view from an old, not entirely smooth glass window. The village in the film is where Reygadas lives in Morelos.[4] Filming wrapped late in 2011.[6]

Release[edit]

The film premiered in competition at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival on 24 May.[7] The New York Times reported of "belligerent boos and hooting" at the screening. All three of Reygadas' previous feature films had premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.[4] It went on to screen within such festivals as Toronto International Film Festival and Maryland Film Festival, and was acquired for U.S. distribution by Strand Releasing.

Critical response[edit]

As of June 2013, the film currently has a fresh rating of 51% on the website Rotten Tomatoes out of 40 reviews; no consensus has yet been reached.[8] On Metacritic, the film has a 69/100 rating, based on 20 reviews, signifying "generally favorable reviews".[9]

The movie was released to mixed critical reviews. Robert Abele of the Los Angeles Times described it as "real rarity in cinema, a visually striking archaeology of the psyche that benefits both the moviegoer primed to engage Reygadas' ideas, and the ones open to being swallowed in an art film wave".[10] Neil Young of The Hollywood Reporter labeled the film as "offensively self-indulgent cubist folly". Young expressed admiration for Reygadas' previous film Silent Light, but wrote: "Suspicions that the critically-lauded, award-laden Mexican is, in artistic terms, an emperor clad in exquisitely invisible garments will only crystallize further thanks to Post Tenebras Lux—which at its worst exudes the sort of smug pretentiousness that gives art-cinema a bad name in many quarters."[11] In Screen International, Jonathan Romney wrote: "Alexis Zabé's vividly beautiful photography variously makes the images seem spontaneously caught, or deliberately framed and fixed in a video art manner—and it could be argued that this film has much more in common with gallery video than with most contemporary theatrical art cinema... However, you never feel that Reygadas is out to impose his unorthodox outlook, to impress himself on you as a visionary. There is a vision here, certainly, but the film feels genuinely, bracingly experimental in that it seems to be searching for its own meaning and form, rather than asserting them ready-made."[12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2012 Official Selection". Cannes. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  2. ^ "Cannes Film Festival 2012 line-up announced". timeout. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  3. ^ "Awards 2012". Cannes. Retrieved 2012-05-27. 
  4. ^ a b c d Lim, Dennis (2012-05-27). "Cannes Film Festival: Loud Boos Don't Faze Carlos Reygadas". Arts Beat. The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-05-27. 
  5. ^ a b Hopewell, John; Mayorga, Emilio (2010-02-16). "Reygadas preps 'Post' pic". Variety. Retrieved 2012-01-19. 
  6. ^ a b Lemercier, Fabien (2011-06-10). "Arte France Cinéma backs Carax’s Holly Motors". cineuropa.org. Cineuropa. Retrieved 2012-01-19. 
  7. ^ "Screenings guide". Cannes Film Festival. Retrieved 2012-05-27. 
  8. ^ "Post Tenebras Lux". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 14 June 2013. 
  9. ^ "Post Tenebras Lux". Metacritic. Retrieved 14 June 2013. 
  10. ^ Abele, Robert (7 June 2013). "Review: 'Post Tenebras Lux' a Lyrical Exploration of Dark and Light". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 14 June 2013. 
  11. ^ Young, Neil (2012-05-25). "Post Tenebras Lux: Cannes Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2012-05-27. 
  12. ^ Romney, Jonathan (2012-05-24). "Post Tenebras Lux". Screen International. Retrieved 2012-05-27. 

External links[edit]