• Name: Lux Æterna
• Year: 2019
• Country: France
• Director: Gaspar Noé
• Main cast: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Béatrice Dalle, Mica Arganaraz
• Runtime: 50 minutes
• Production company: Vixens
• Trailer: Not available yet
Buff, Gaspar. How can you do these things? An exercise of improvisation, only 3 lines of screenplay, and you and your friends end up making a movie like Lux Æterna (2019)? I have to admit I have never been a big fan of Gaspar Noé’s movies, but one thing is for sure, all of them are a must-see. Surreal cinema and artsy stuff are not for me. But Lux Æterna (2019) is a different experience. From the initial first act with Charlotte Gainsbourg and Béatrice Dalle chatting I was already into the movie. Then, chaos happens. A lot of chaos, chaos for many people, chaos for many minutes. Nobody knows what is going on. And then, the final climax. And there I was, sitting on my chair, not moving a muscle, hoping that madness would never end.
A Gaspar Noé film always is an astonishing visual experience. It has always been like that. The absolute domination of colors and lights. And the stories and his narrative style is also very personal, not for everybody. The split image telling different stories at the same time might not be invented here, but it sure serves to the purpose of mayhem as it has never been done before. The ideas of his movies are expressed sometimes by all the different elements he has in hands in the cinema world but the text. Which is pretty unique in the panorama and most of the time it comes out with positive results. But this time there was no idea, no message to share with the film. Only a small premise, some background for the actors, and cameras rolling following everybody constantly. And one can wonder, how can this huge chaos work? Well, it works because the actors proved to be excellent and because Gaspar Noé is a privileged filmmaker able to create audiovisual masterpieces from anything he gets his hands on.
If there is a plot in the movie, it is witches. Béatrice Dalle, better known for being the villain of cult New French Extremity film À l’intérieur (2007), is debuting as a director with a movie about burning witches. As a look-back to the Inquisition times, where god-fearing illiterates led by the inhuman Church exterminated a huge amount of the female population, the novice french filmmaker is planning on playing her own homage. Lux Æterna (2019) starts with Charlotte Gainsbourg and Béatrice Dalle sharing their experiences and thoughts in the film industry. Egos, sex, the dispute for power, the primitive patriarch, all those subjects get shattered by the two actresses unleashing whatever pops in their minds. This sets the mood for a movie that can be split into 3 different acts. The first one being the Gainsbourg – Dalle wine-sharing moment. Then Gaspar Noé opens Pandora’s Box with lots of chaos within all the cast and crew members of the film fighting against each other, trying to impose their own vision and way of working, and not talking or discussing with their own colleagues. By the own worlds of the filmmaker, most of the time the film shooting process is a fun and pleasant job if you manage to get a cast and crew you get along with, professionals that want to give the best of themselves for the shared purpose. Although sometimes a shooting can become a horrible experience with lots of disputes, as it gets shown in Lux Æterna (2019). And, finally, in the third and final act of the film, Gaspar Noé takes the reigns to wash off all the tensions, everything that has been going on and brings out the grand finale. Béatrice Dalle can yell as much as she wants because no one will listen to her. Charlotte Gainsbourg will be a witch burning forever. The director of photography totally lost control of his set, the extras are standing there, totally lost, with no guidance. All the supporting actresses ran away from the scene. An epileptic-like set of lights is blinding all the different pawns in the movie set of. A horrible sound won’t stop until it demolishes every single eardrum. And that is the end of Lux Æterna (2019). In fact, that IS Lux Æterna (2019).
It won’t have pornographic images but sex is always present. It is not a war film but conflicts are constant. It has A-class professional actresses but they won’t have a clue what is going on. Lux Æterna (2019) is the beauty of chaos directed by one single hand. Gaspar Noé is the movie god that can collect all the destruction made by humans and builds something as amazing as Lux Æterna (2019). But, as it is said in the ending credits, “thank god I’m an atheist”.
IMDB URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt10272534
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