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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Prominently atmospheric, poetically cinematographic and distinguishable...", 2 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Post Tenebras Lux [DVD] (DVD)
Mexican screenwriter, producer and director Carlos Reygadas` fourth feature film which he wrote and co-produced, is inspired by personal experiences. It premiered In competition at the 65th Cannes International Film Festival in 2012, was screened in the Wavelengths section at the 37th Toronto International Film Festival in 2012, was shot on location in Mexico, England, Spain and Belgium and is a Mexico-France-The Netherlands-Germany co-production which was produced by producer Jaime Romandia. It tells the story about a married couple named Natalia and Juan who lives in a grand house in the countryside in Mexico with their children. Whilst the husband attends an AA meeting and his wife stays at home with their housemaid named Chelita, their daughter named Rut who likes to be told stories plays with their cows and their son named Eleazar who admires Peter Parker has a vision of a devil in one of his dreams.

Distinctly and brilliantly directed by Mexican filmmaker Carlos Reygadas, this quietly paced fictional tale which is narrated from multiple viewpoints though mostly from the four family members` viewpoints, draws an instantly intriguing portrayal of a man who has a treasurable life, but who lacks the perception to see it. While notable for its naturalistic and various milieu depictions, distinct cinematography by Mexican cinematographer Alexis Zobé, production design by production designer and producer Gerardo Tagle, costume design and use of sound, light, colors and music, this narrative-driven, somewhat sociological and modestly existentialistic story about human experiences and co-existing realities which has a sense of love, a sense of mystery and an appreciation of life which is perceived through the many cinematic scenes created by a filmmaker who paints with his camera and who continues envisioning new perspectives to cinema, depicts an incisive study of character about a man who doesn`t fully recognize how fortunate he is.

This opaque, surprising, at times humerous, interpretative and reflective drama which is set mostly in a Mexican village and where a father and husband acquaints a tree cutter who has a troubled background named Seven and an English rugby team is preparing for their next match, is impelled and reinforced by its fragmented narrative structure, subtle character development, singular and, without exaggerating, extraordinary style of filmmaking, the children's viewpoints, the masterful scenes of the exploring daughter, understated acting performances by Mexican actress Nathalia Acevedo and Mexican actor Adolfo Jiménez Castro and the fine acting performances by the child actors. A prominently atmospheric, poetically cinematographic and distinguishable narrative feature which is a hymn to family life and which gained, among other awards, the award for Best Director Carlos Reygadas at the 65th Cannes Film Festival in 2012.
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