Lux Æterna / Gaspar Noé

  • Country and year: France 2019
  • Rating: 16
  • Duration: 51 min
  • Director and writer: Gaspar Noé
  • Producer(s): Gary Farkas, Lucile Hadzihalilovic, Clément Lepoutre, Olivier Muller, Gaspar Noé, Anthony Vaccarello
  • Cinematographer: Benoît Debie
  • Cast: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Béatrice Dalle, Abbey Lee, Clara 3000, Claude-Emmanuelle Gajan-Maull, Karl Glusman
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Format: DCP

“Ever since Gaspar Noé cranked up his ambition with Enter the Void 10 years ago, the filmmaker has divided audiences with unruly, disorienting filmmaking techniques. Frames blink in and out, cameras float and speed through unexpected spaces, and neon palettes pulsate. His recent spate of movies often yield overwhelming experiences closer to the visceral terrain of avant-garde cinema than the narrative traditions he roots within the mayhem. His style can be a mixed bag of visual provocations, but his showmanship remains admirable for its bold swings each time out.

It’s hard to imagine that Noé could serve any master other than himself, and it comes as no great surprise that his recent assignment to make a 15-minute commercial for Yves Saint Laurent went awry when Noé turned it into his own weird thing: Lux Æterna, a 50-minute psychedelic mockumentary about a film shoot gone wrong, distills Noé’s talents to a more palatable serving size. Anyone who appreciated the craft of Enter the Void but found the running time unwieldy will be grateful for this much tighter dose.” – Eric Kohn / IndieWire


“As ever, the cinematographic contribution from DP Benoit Debie, who has worked with Noé on all his features since 2002’s Irreversible, sanctifies the material immeasurably, with gloriously lapidary lighting schemes and swooping, soaring movements that always make Noé’s films feel so kinetic. He has a particular knack for shooting women so as to make them look stunning but also natural and even a little freakish at the same time, getting great angles even with distorting lenses. With Benoit, nearly everyone looks gorgeous but also a little bit wasted, which is handy not just for Noé’s films but also the ones he’s shot for Harmony Korine (Spring Breakers, The Beach Bum).”
– Leslie Felperin / The Hollywood Reporter

“In Noé’s blitziest blitzkrieg yet – a featurette that cries out for big-screen viewing – Beatrice Dallé and Charlotte Gainsbourg play an embattled film director and her star preparing a witch-burning scene. Then Noé unleashes a proper meltdown.”
– Giovanni Marchini Camia / Sight & Sound

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