Thursday, September 25, 2008

"Silent Light" Opens in New York

The year's best film has finally opened in the United States.

Mexican director Carlos Reygadas' breathtaking masterpiece, Silent Light, is receiving a six day run at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.


I've grappled for weeks about which film would top my current best of 2008 list if Silent Light were to be released theatrically this year, this or 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days, and I finally came to the difficult conclusion that Silent Light is really the one to beat.

From my review:
I often hesitate to use the "M" word when reviewing films, as it is often abused and has loses its meaning when every other film is proclaimed a masterpiece by some critic somewhere. But it is the only word that seems to apply. Silent Light is a masterpiece, the stuff of legend. It is a stunning work, a transcendent, nearly spiritual experience, from the breathtaking opening shot to the haunting final frame.
This is landmark filmmaking. And while it may not be playing anywhere near most of my readership, I strongly recommend that anyone who can go to MOMA and see this film. Silent Light is the kind of timeless masterpiece that we so rarely see. It feels as if it stepped out of a dream, free of typical filmmaking constraints and inhabiting its own reality, as if it could have been made in any place at any time. It is not a movie of our time but a movie for all time, miraculous and sublime, haunting and ethereal, insightful and transcendental.

Reygadas channels Carl Th. Dreyer in a way that is nothing short of stunning, and this astonishing film more than earns its keep as the very best cinematic work of 2008.

4 comments:

Sam Juliano said...

After seeing Dreyer's DAY OF WRATH two weeks ago at the IFC, a trip to MOMA for this masterwork (which I did get on DVD) would be very much in order.

You wrote a spectacular review for this film, so you are right be excited. This is an A plus post!

Anders said...

Wow, by the sounds of it...i MUST see this film!
Although, this could potentially be difficult here in Australia.

By the way, great blog! If you have a moment, drop by my movie review blog at
www.cutprintreview.com

Phillip Johnston said...

I have a DVD copy of this and really need to watch it ... soon. I have friends that want to watch it with me, but they haven't seen Dreyer's Ordet yet.

Should I make them watch the Dreyer film first?

Matthew Lucas said...

I don't think seeing ORDET is necessary to enjoying SILENT LIGHT. It may have deepened my appreciation for what Reygadas did with his film, but I still think I would have been just as blown away by SILENT LIGHT if I had not already seen ORDET.

It's definitely up to you. But I don't recommend watching them in close succession...you don't want to make it seem as if Reygadas is just copying Dreyer...because it's so much more than that.