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Lux Æterna

A vibrant essay on respect for beliefs, the actor’s craft and the art of filmmaking.

Reviews

7 months after its premiere in Cannes (which I attended), I can’t believe there is still no review of Lux Aeterna, so here is mine:

I think this film is admirable in many ways although not devoid of flaws, the main one being that for the nth time, Noé pulls the same expectable tricks with colorful lighting, flickering images and references to his classics (even just the title, “Lux Aeterna” is the György Ligeti eerie choir piece used in “2001: A Space Odyssey”), etc. So that does get a little unimaginative, especially since the atmosphere and development are very close to his latest long feature, “Climax”.

That said, everything else is interesting. From the Dalle / Gainsbourg improvised dialogue (made hilarious by Dalle’s very personal way of saying things – let’s hope that won’t get lost in translation) to the creative ways in which Noé uses the screen space. I couldn’t stress this enough: *This Must Be Watched In A Movie Theater* ! Although I do enjoy smaller screens, I’m afraid a small screen won’t cut it with this one. As usual with Noé, the experimental elements are present and the big screen is a must in order to enjoy them fully.

Many references are made throughout the film to Carl Dreyer’s classic “Vredens Dag” from 1943, also using footage from it. It does serve a purpose but cannot really be discussed without spoiling.

I believe many interpretations of the film are possible. From mysogynistic to feminist. I’m definitely going with the latter. The end scene is intense in symbolism, deafening sound, flickering visuals and a creative use of the screen. If you suffer from epilepsy: STAY AWAY. As usual, Noé tries our patience and is into trying to shock us – but that’s getting a bit old. Nothing gory though, so the faint of heart can watch. The camera flies from room to room as the crescendo builds up progressively until smothering hysteria. The film only lasts 50mn but it wouldn’t necessarily have made more sense to make it any longer.

This is also definitely a film about film-making and how things go, on and off set. It’s a film about actresses – how some can impose their strength or choose to go with what is asked of them.

This film will divide. Some will see it as arty, vaccuous and pointless. Others will find depth and meaning in it, but not necessarily the same meaning. I believe this is the best Noé film in a long time. Overall better than “Climax” or “Love”. If you can get past Noé’s antics, it is not only enjoyable, it is mostly an undeniable breath of fresh air in contemporary cinema.

Duration: 50 min

Release:

IMDb: 7.0