Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Lux Æterna - Movie Review

The Movie: Lux Æterna

The Director: Gaspar Noé

The Cast: Béatrice Dalle, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Félix Maritaud, Clara Deshayes, Karl Glusman, Abbey Lee

The Story: Two actresses, Béatrice Dalle and Charlotte Gainsbourg, are on a film set telling stories about witches - but that's not all. 'Lux Æterna' is also an essay on cinema, the love of film, and on-set hysterics.

The Review:
Gaspar Noé is known for creating movies that shock and get under your skin and they leave you pondering them for long after the credits have rolled on the screen and all of it usually in ways that are very disturbing. For me, 2018's Climax is his best and most effective movie to date partly ebcause it was such a frustrating experience for me. Not sure how to explain that unless you've seen the movie but yeah, he's great at getting under your skin.

Normally the filmmaker's techniques are highly effective and quite unique from just about anything else out there and, while this movie definitely maitains that sense of originality, the intended hock value just wasn't there for me. The buildup of tension which is normally a hallmark of the director's style and vision falls flat and loses any impact it might have otherwise had, I think partially because there wasn't enough time for a proper deep dive into who the characters are.

The run time is only 51 minutes total including credits which barely qualifies it as a feature film and I'm trying to decide if more would have been better or if there just wasn't much there to begin with. As I'm typing this out, I wonder if this movie would actually be a soft landing introduction to Noé's films so I guess in that respect it is a film I would recommend but as a standalone movie, I don't think it has the depth or immersive nature that his other movies normally come packed with.

The Verdict:
Lux Æterna is a stylized work of art that is typical of director Gaspar Noé's filmmaking style although it ultimately falls short of his exceedingly frustrating and highly engaging movies.

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