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Post Tenebras Lux [DVD]


Price: £5.75 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Post Tenebras Lux [DVD] + Silent Light [DVD] [2007]
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Product details

  • Actors: Nathalia Acevedo, Adolfo Jiménez Castro
  • Directors: Carlos Reygadas
  • Format: PAL, Surround Sound
  • Language: French, Spanish, English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Drakes Avenue Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: 22 July 2013
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00CHMLXY6
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 50,298 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Juan (Adolfo Jiménez Castro) is a wealthy industrialist who has chosen to live with his wife and two children away from the trappings of wealth and the city. Yet isolation in this superficially idyllic rural landscape seems to have brought little peace to his world. Juan's marriage to Natalia (Nathalia Acevedo) is suffering under the strain of sexual ennui, the banal rigours of bringing up young children and living in a community where he is clearly an outsider. The morality of family life is further complicated by Juan's post-colonial Mexican ethnicity and position as an employer and elite landowner in a country with an increasingly divergent wealth divide.

Carlos Reygadas' (Battle in Heaven, Silent Light) latest won Best Director in Cannes 2012. It's a gorgeous allusive masterpiece examining marriage, poverty, class, gender, our place in nature and how evil lives with us in the most intimate and ordinary of places. It's a wonder.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ben Smith [SHELF HEROES] on 16 Aug 2013
Format: Blu-ray
Beginning with a startlingly beautiful scene of a young girl alone in an ominous field at dusk, surrounded by a bounding pack of dogs and skittish cows, this film is instantly captivating - raising unanswerable questions and pulsing with the power of nature over human vulnerability. And so `Post Tenebras Lux' continues, as a series of vignettes with a few recurring characters and an elusive plot. The closest it comes to a conventional narrative is with the story of Juan (Adolfo Jiménez Castro) and Nathalia (Nathalia Acevedo), a middle-class Mexican couple who, having moved their family to the country for a more wholesome life, find Juan's problems with addiction and violence unsettle their apparently idyllic life. The film slips back and forth through time without explanation depicting the couple and their children, a local tradesman, a French orgy, a rugby match and a haunting glowing red devil-like creature. A hard film to pin down, expectations twist from one scene to the next.

One of its problems is the sheer amount going on. Each segment apparently explores new themes and is inflected with slightly different styles (the influence of several European arthouse directors is clear), creating the impression of a visual collage lacking any obvious focus or intent - enigmatic and visually arresting, but as the story wears on without shaping its ambiguity into something tangible the experience does begin to frustrate. There's a fine line between poetic ambiguity and pretentiousness, and `Post Tenebras Lux' rests precariously upon it. Raising multiple unanswered questions it's hard to get a handle on what director Carlos Reygadas is trying to achieve here, and it appears more like a personal study.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Olly Buxton on 5 Mar 2014
Format: Blu-ray
I enjoyed Carlos Reygadas’ last film, Luz Silenciosa (Silent Light), though much more in the week following its screening than in the theatre itself. With hindsight, I believe I judged it harshly in my review. I wonder whether I’m about to do the same thing again.

Reygadas’ output is industrial-strength art-house: You need to pack a soft cushion, an imaginative frame of mind, and to have put your disbelief in colloidal suspension. You must stand ready to invent, apply and discard as many narrative hypotheses as it takes to find one which will help you make sense of what you’re seeing.

With Luz Silenciosa, a film about a love triangle in a Mennonite community, I found one, if late in the piece: the idea that the camera itself is an intruder in the private world of the drama, necessarily intervening with what goes on. This was conveyed through continual reminders of the presence of a lens throughout the film, through rain-spots, sun flares, window frames and, on one occasion during a highway storm seen through a windscreen, all three.

The very act of observation irreparably changes the dynamic of the situation: only when someone is there to hear it, does a tree falling in a forest make a sound.

In Post Tenebras Lux (After Shadows, Light) we are, again, permanently aware of the camera, this time because Reygadas has, selected an almost insolently square aspect ratio and applied a lens which refracts, blurs and distorts the fringes of the picture. We feel as if we are inside a box brownie, or perhaps inside a dream.

A dream: Now there’s a narrative hypothesis that might help.

A fashionable term for this screenplay is non-linear; another way of describing it is all over the place.
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Format: DVD
Mexican film-maker Carlos Reygadas returns with his most ambitious film yet with ‘Post Tenebras Lux’, in the most part using a self-made beer-glass camera lens which refracts his figures, doubles the image and leaves the screen’s borders blurred.

The opening sequence sums up the dreamlike drama of this film, where a young child is surrounded by a pack of dogs and horses from daylight to darkness. Your mind starts to panic as you assume the worst will happen, questions go through your mind about the wellbeing of the child. Its an unnerving scene. Things get stranger still, with a series of seemingly unconnected stories; where English children play rugby in a school; a red Lucifer/goat-like figure making housecalls with a toolbox; and a bathhouse where orgies take place in rooms named after Hegel and Duchamp. Inbetween the many short stories, a couple called Juan (Adolfo Jiménez Castro) and Natalia (Nathalia Acevedo) live in a big house with their children in the mountains somewhere in Mexico. Their lives and the people that work for them are the only concentrated narrative strands running through this film.

These disparate short stories seem to be used to map out the different aspects of Reygadas’s home country. The rugby match is the one scene that doesn’t fit into this film, I assume its used as a unifying concept for Mexico’s people who shouldn’t be fighting amongst themselves but working as a team for the greater good, regardless of their backgrounds and beliefs.

‘Post Tenebras Lux’ is a sketchy film that flits between the real and unreal. By taking so many different snapshots of life, the message is often lost. These broad brushstrokes are occasionally impressive in situations you least expect, such as in the forest and the headless man.
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