The latest feature by Carlos Reygadas, Post Tenebras Lux (After Darkness Light), has proven to be his most divisive. Premiering to mixed responses at the Cannes Film Festival last year, with belligerent boos and hooting reported from certain corners of the audience, Reygadas was still bestowed with the Best Director Award and ten months down the line debate continues as to whether the film is a misjudged masterpiece or "offensively self-indulgent cubist folly", as the Hollywood Reporter so eloquently labelled it.
Despite the critical befuddlement, Post Tenebras Lux remains an exemplary example of art house cinema serving one of its most valid functions: to challenge audiences and incite debate. This is a work that confronts, provokes and lingers in the mind long after the credits roll. The film’s distributor, the Independent Cinema Office, have undertaken the innovative marketing tactic of creating a genuinely cinéphilic online project, After Cinema Words, in which various individuals from across the film industry were invited to contribute creative responses to Reygadas’ work. The contributions may prove as divisive as the film itself, but the level of engagement is refreshing in a climate where so many quality specialist releases fail to register on the cultural landscape.
ICA Film and Cinema Co-ordinator
Post Tenebras Lux opens at the ICA on Friday 22 March 2013