Post Tenebras Lux
Many interpreted Silent Light’s Dreyer-referencing classicism as indicative of a shift in Carlos Reygadas’ methods; a shake-up that would temper the Mexican director’s more arcane tendencies by moving towards a comparatively conventional form of art-cinema. Post Tenebras Lux takes that assumption and shreds it, offering a bewildering array of arresting imagery - glowing devils, self-decapitation, joyless sex clubs and public school rugby matches - that seems to confrontationally resist reconciliation.
There’s no obvious eureka moment amidst these curios, no key clue which allows all pieces to slide together, but unpicking its glut of metaphors proves supremely satisfying in and of itself, and with close attention a coherence (of sorts) emerges. Reygadas’ ability to imbue ostensibly simple moments with deeply affecting undercurrents is expressed in a number of scenes (most vividly the elemental opening, in which a child plays alone as storm clouds amass), which possess such acute sensory impact that any narrative meaning seems almost moot. [Chris Buckle]