Blu-Ray Review: Lux Aeterna

Charlotte Gainsbourg on a stake

Watching a Gaspar Noé film can sometimes be as much as an endurance event as a pleasurable day at the pictures. Causing nightmares and undoubtedly triggering enough trauma to keep a small army of therapists in business. The likes of Irreversible, Love and Enter the Void were punishing cinematic experiences, for differing reasons. With Lux Aeterna the French director takes the idea of filmmaking to another level.

Béatrice Dalle is making an experimental film about witches. To put it mildly, things are not going quite to plan on set. The producers are constantly interfering and the largely inexperienced crew are proving to be difficult and incompetent. At least her friend Charlotte Gainsbourg has arrived for today’s shoot, which will be the pivotal scene in her movie. However, when the camera finally rolls, nothing goes according to plan.

Largely improved over a shoot which only lasted five days, Lux Aeterna is a frenetic and frantic mix of social commentary and psychotic episodes. If you have issues with flashing lights, this is really not for you. The result feels slightly stretched, even at a runtime of less than an hour, and while there are a lot of interesting elements it does feel like a case of style over substance. Still, there’s much to mull over in Lux Aeterna when the lights stop flickering.

Product features:

  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
  • Original lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and PCM 2.0 stereo soundtracks
  • Optional English subtitles (French dialogue)
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing (all dialogue)
  • Brand new audio commentary by writer/director Gaspar Noé and actress Béatrice Dalle
  • Brand new audio commentary by author and critic Kat Ellinger
  • Brand new visual essay on witchcraft in cinema by author and critic Miranda Corcoran
  • The Flicker, a 30-minute short film by Tony Conrad, whose strobing effect inspired Lux Æterna
  • Lux in Tenebris, a selection of photos from the set by camera operator, title designer and long-term Noé collaborator Tom Kan
  • Theatrical trailers
  • Image gallery
  • Reversible sleeve featuring two choices of artwork
  • FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Neil Mitchell

Lux Aeterna is released on Blu-ray by Arrow Video on 30 May.

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