I have not actually seen these films, but it's a guide to breaking out of preconceived expectations of the established…
Johan and his family are Mennonites from the north of Mexico. Against the law of God and Man, Johan falls in love with another woman.
I was rather amused that my wife and I were tricked into watching Mexican director Carlos Reygadas’ Silent Light by our friend Caker Baker. Kind of like tricking someone into watching Bella Tarr’s The Turin Horse. I like that kind of mean humor.
Reading afterwards, they say that Reygadas is most heavily influenced by Dreyer and Tarkovsky. I haven’t seen anything by Dreyer yet, although Ordet has been on the shelf for some time, and as far as Tarkovsky, from my limited exposure his lush visuals are matched with wordy philosophising. Silent Light is the antithesis of wordy. No, for my money, this guy is Tarr minus the dire hopelessness.
You can tell right from the beautiful opening sequence of…
Carlos Reygadas' Silent Light opens with a full five-minute unbroken shot of the sun rising in a time lapse. I am aware that I'm prone to hyperbole often, but it is one of the most beautiful things I have seen in a film, and viewing it in the darkness late at night I felt tears welling up at the sheer wonder of this cinematic collision of beautiful framing and warming lighting. It is an opening shot of enviable perfection.
The film is the story of a devoutly religious, married man whose dedication to God is rendered distraught and paralysed by his passionate affair with a younger woman (who at times looks intriguingly similar to his wife) with whom he has…
Silent Light is a remarkable film, magnificent in scope and cinematic prowess of the highest order. It seems as though I cannot applaud Carlos Reygadas enough.
Reygadas is a self proclaimed fan of Danish grand master Carl Theodor Dreyer and his inspiration drawn from him is undeniable. Some have went as far as to claim Reygadas may even be a borderline plagiarist in these regards. (Spoilers for those who have seen Ordet and not this film) The finale of this film mirroring almost nearly to the exact shot placement and set decor of Dreyer's Ordet let alone its content. But other than that and the fact of both films centering in a strict religious society (although religion not playing as…
"Peace is stronger than love."
This is the way that the greatest of stories are meant to be told, with keen attention to detail, overwhelmingly beautiful visuals, spiritual subtext, and the opportunity for audiences to interpret as they please.
Two of the most important (and very much connected) moments in the film concern the phenomenon that we humans call time, with a focus on the setting of clocks; if you're at all confused by the existential climax of Silent Light, think deeply about these two moments and the answers may come to you.
Certain images, I will never forget;
the soulful sky, the purple flower, the blue umbrella.
I remain in awe.
Like Bresson before him (not to say that…
“I’d give anything to turn back time . . . go back to things as they used to be.”
I wanted to let some time pass before watching Stellet Licht, knowing that it was largely inspired of and influenced by Carl Th. Dreyer's 1955 masterpiece Ordet which I had been profoundly moved by almost one year ago. Whilst Mexican auteur Carols Reygadas borrows heavily from said film, he has appropriated specific elements to deliver an equally profound and poetic masterpiece.
Set in a Mennonite community in Mexico, Reygadas applies a neorealist touch to the proceedings by using non-actors, natural lighting, languid pacing and minimal dialogue to invite us into an almost sacred space and worldview, where the hand of God…
Day 2. 5th Film, 4th Country: Mexico
of the "May: 30 Days, 30 Countries" Challenge.
Let me start with a WOW and then Add another WOW and the third WOW!
This was amazing. It is not just a homage to Dreyer, it is as if Dreyer had woken up from the grave (ala Ordet) and made one more film. Even though most of the style and subject matters are from Ordet and Gertrud, it never feels like plagiarism or a recycle of those films.
The film takes place in Mexico but it is in Plautdietsch, a dialect spoken by over 300,000 Mennonites, most notably in the Latin American countries of Brazil, Mexico, Bolivia, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Honduras, Belize, and Argentina,…
One of the most beautiful opening shots I've ever seen. Otherwise, I found the performances were clearly done by unprofessional actors and it is riding heavily on the greatness of the grandfathers of cinema.
Reygadas is a visual master that's for sure. I can't wait to see what he does next.
Andrei Tarkovsky would've been proud.
All Reygadas movies seem to be about the same thing: man, either religious or soon to be, walks a fine line between depraved immorality and righteousness, often contingent upon a woman who is mystical in nature. Battle in Heaven brought this one step further by also making its central love story a conflict of social standing, and Silent Light reverses course by making man one with his surroundings, i.e. it's Reygadas's first film that has none of those shock value, button pushing moments. However, content is still lacking for me, there's still shades of emptiness behind the exquisite image making - e.g. Reygadas even says the ending is a product of writing yourself into a corner; he simply liked the…
Beautiful but SLOW. Sun rising 5 minutes. Nothing happening. Slow motion movement. Sun setting for 5 minutes. Drama in between and miracles. I watched this all in fast forward and almost died of boredom. Artistic, for sure but..... TOO SLOW.
The same sensation as Cries and Whispers and Taste of Cherry: impressed or astounded on the technical side, but completly bored and frustrated by the narrative impenetrability.
This is an exceptional film. Not quite as magical as its first and last scenes, but nevertheless advances its plot with a great deal of poise. It features Johan, a Mennonite who is torn between his humble wife and an enigmatic mistress. He consults his many family members about his situation which tears him up from the very start. They all provide him with good bits of wisdom, and from there, the film unfolds glacially, but gracefully.
Miriam Toews, an author with whom I am familiar, is very good as Johan's wife, Esther. The mistress, Mariann, opposes her quite brilliantly. The children are all very genuine with their presence, and are essential in developing this film's atmosphere.
It is clear…
In "Silent Light" an emotional crisis strikes a Mennonite father (Cornelio Wall) as he finds himself in love with a woman other than his wife. Mexican director Carlos Reygadas ("Battle in Heaven") crafts "Silent Light" as a quiet storm of guilt, shame, and rebirth. Reygadas finds a remarkable stillness in a story that could have been all red-faced shouts, slammed doors, and broken glass. Wall’s Johan is a man wracked with uncertainty; his father tells him this new woman in his life is the work of the devil, but Johan theorizes it may be God making up for allowing him to make the mistake of marrying his wife, an unnerving prospect. Marianne, the other woman, played by Maria Pankratz, is…
I must confess I watched this at the tail end of an acid trip, which really might be the best time for anyone to watch a movie, but I digress. Silent Light may have some of the most powerful imagery in a film I've seen from the last ten years. The five-minute opening shot is a sunrise, the film is being cracked open and the beauty of nature is witnessed through this golden light. The story itself has already begun, but change is underway. We focus on a Mennonite community in Mexico, as one man, Johan is conflicted between the love he shares with two women. It isn't the most original story, but it's easy to empathize with everyone and…
Each of these films placed at #7 or higher in the year of its release. (#7 because 100 films divided…
High-rated movies with very few views. Suggestions are welcome.