How can one direct actors without understanding what they say? Carlos Reygadas does it, and seems to capture the soul of the Mennonites. Beautiful photography and moments of family love in a pacifist community. But when there is conflict, it isn't always enough to try and accept, and everyone suffers. An enlightening movie.
It sets the pace brilliantly, and tells a deceptively simple story in a straightforward way. Poor Johan, indeed! He's essentially saying that he struggled mightily but then he just had to have sex with her. The penis is stronger than the brain. That it's about destiny and love. He makes it sound like he's battling the devil. The devil inside his penis! I'm going to stop saying penis now.
Same thing applies here as it does in Battle in Heaven: it is a humanistic challenge to “film” people and its cynical subculture. Is your heart clear and good enough to understand? Do you know of art, literature, and the green world? Not a difficult film; it is people’s notions and emotions that are in disarray. Film culture is perverted and distorted. The great artists are outliers and dissidents.
Dreyer by way of Malick, Silent Light is a masterpiece of widescreen framing, as a Mennonite man faces the challenge of faith and love within an insular community. The austerity of their lives contrasts with the expansive beauty of the Mexican surrounds, as the narrative ellipses move between the seasons during the course of a year - a year of death and resurrection - and between the rising and falling of a sun.
Slow but incredibly engrossing. Contains images of tremendous beauty and devastation, with an emotional realism that is hard to explain yet overwhelming to the senses, just like Tarkovsky (an obvious influence). I keep returning to the ending, the way it recontextualises and transforms one of the most moving endings in cinema, providing it with even more compassion and selflessness. It's stuck with me for days now.
I'm starting to crush. Inspiring to see how Reygadas' investigation of man's nature and purpose delves so deep. We start in the stars. Light, the silent variable, unleashes from the horizon while primeval wailing (are those cows?) harkens the dawn of time. The director places us in a Mennonite home in northern Mexico where adultery hangs like a pendulum or stirs with rapture. Transcendent ending. Crown chakra energy.
How to make a simple love triangle feel fresh? Collate it in a world of carnal forces and an indefinable natural (or is that spiritual?) presence. As for what it borrows/steals/updates from Ordet, it's more intriguing because it removes the tidiness of an act of God and lets human messiness and a frightening, beautiful cosmos fill the void. But it's drawn out beyond freshness, stuck in the shadow of its ambitions.
What a beautiful film. The opening scene in this film was just remarkable and the closing scene was jaw-dropping perfect. This film had great muses brought into the directing aspect. The characters and non-characters did a superb job in creating a film that flows and builds throughout its entirety and shows emotion on a level that is hard to portray. They even did well protraying a reconciling faith in Johan's life.
I wasn't too trilled about this movie during the beginning. As I continued to watch, it started to grow on me a bit. As I was going through the scenes of the rest of this film I found myself starting the enjoy it more. I thought the ending was very beautiful and brilliant. I think this film tells a wonderful story line. I very ,much enjoyed watching it.
La "luz silenciosa" es la conciencia y la pasión que surgen inevitablemente incluso en un comunidad afectivamente contenida y religiosa como la menonita. Una historia sintetizada en amor, muerte y muchas metáforas de la luz. Gran dirección de Reygadas. Es cine mexicano que no lo parece.
The arthouse sure loves characters who take two minutes to formulate a sentence, spend most of their day staring into the distance and openly sum their deepest emotions in a few words. Is it cause the cinematic everyday has more to do with Bresson and Bergman than the actual everyday? Or cause still life is easier to capture than a moving one? 5 starts for images and editing - if only it wasn't so artificially still