Post Tenebras Lux with director Carlos Reygadas in person!
Lee Marvin Maverick Award Ceremony!
Southwest Premiere | Winner! Best Director, 2012 Cannes Film Festival
Playing Friday, November 9th at 7PM in Theatre 1 Click HERE to buy tickets!
“Post Tenebras Lux is a landscape of possibility, vibrantly alert to the tensions of class, family and desire, pulsating with life.” – Tom Hall, Hammer to Nail
From his auspicious debut feature Japón onward, Mexican iconoclast Carlos Reygadas has proven himself one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary cinema. His second and third features, Battle in Heaven and Silent Light, confirmed an unparalleled ability to fuse stunning vistas (both natural and man-made) with the psychic states of his characters. With Post Tenebras Lux (“After Darkness, Light”), his most personal and demanding film to date, Reygadas eschews narrative chronology in favour of a kaleidoscopic vision of a family sliding between tenderness and violence, guilt and repentance. The result is an exploration of the brutality and innocence that lie at the heart of humanity, and nature itself.
The staggeringly beautiful fifteen-minute prologue establishes the film’s ongoing slippage into the oneiric: a little girl wanders alone on an open, muddy pasture at dusk, surrounded by animals, increasingly frightened by the imminence of nightfall or the storm brewing above her head. This dreamlike sequence is brilliantly conveyed by a bevelled camera technique that compresses images and blurs borders. The girl is one of two toddlers (played by Reygadas’ own children) belonging to an affluent young couple, Juan (Adolfo Jiménez Castro) and Natalia (Nathalia Acevedo), who reside in a lush, country villa. Following the family’s daily routine with quiet attentiveness, Reygadas soon reveals demons — literal demons, it turns out — lurking within this seemingly idyllic domesticity. Struggling with the new demands of parenthood and the painfully diminished role of sexual exchange in their marriage, Juan exercises his rage upon the family dogs, while Natalia’s bodily transformation from a purely erotic being into a maternal one is suggested through an evocative flashback to a bathhouse orgy, a moment of luxurious hedonism from the couple’s past. This already fraught summer comes careening to a halt when a sudden act of violence leaves Juan injured and desperate, setting in motion a final rush of fevered events.
Shifting from his own reminiscences to projections of the future, from a child’s perspective to a hallucinogenic immersion in some very adult growing pains, Reygadas has created one of the most challenging and indelible films of the year. Though at times flirting with the inscrutable, Post Tenebras Lux embraces darkness and seeks out the illuminations it can yield. (Diana Sanchez, Toronto International Film Festival)
(Directed by Carlos Reygadas, Mexico, 2012, 120 mins, NR) HD Digital Presentation
Sponsored by Peggy Johnson & Joe Tarver
Lee Marvin Maverick Award Ceremony!
A tribute to Carlos Reygadas, recipient of the inaugural Lee Marvin Award!
Is Carlos Reygadas “a modern day Bunuel”? He has been called el maestro, Mexico cinema’s “leading enfant terrible” and “one of cinema’s most innovative visual masters”.
Reygadas is a Cannes Film Festival favorite, a designation that few other filmmakers can claim. All four of his films have been prominently featured at Cannes. His first, Japon (2002) received Special Mention for the Camera d’Or, Battle in Heaven (2005) was nominated for the Palm d’Or, and Silent Light (2007) won the Jury Award.
This year, Reygadas was named Best Director for Post Tenebras Lux, which had its North American premiere at the Chicago International Film Festival on October 11. This will be only the third time the film has screened north of the US-Mexico border.
Born in Mexico City, Reygadas, studied international law, worked for the Mexican foreign service in Brussels and played rugby for the Mexican national team. Reygadas, who just turned 41, has “become a unique voice that stands apart from the filmmakers commonly associated with the New Mexican Cinema movement of the last decade, whose productions are more in sync with Hollywood norms,” according to José Castillo writing for BOMB Magazine.
It is fitting that the Museum of Modern Art in New York selected Reygadas to be the center of their inaugural exhibition in their Filmmaker in Focus Series in 2008, calling him “an auteur whose small body of stylistically diverse and accomplished works that explore complex emotional issues has already made a strong impact on contemporary international cinema.”
Post Tenebras Lux has been called enigmatic, an astonishing tour de force, disorienting, maddening, visionary and a masterpiece. At the Loft Film Fest, you can decide for yourself!
We selected Carlos to receive the Lee Marvin Award because, in keeping with the legacy of the great actor Lee Marvin, he brings a maverick spirit of independence, strength and originality to his work, breaking new ground and encouraging a deeper appreciation of cinema that strays from the beaten path.