The Info List - Carlos Reygadas

Carlos Reygadas
Carlos Reygadas
Castillo (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈkarlos reiˈɣaðas]; born October 10, 1971) is a Mexican filmmaker. Influenced by existentialist art and philosophy, Reygadas' movies feature spiritual journeys into the inner worlds of his main characters, through which themes of love, suffering, death, and life's meaning are explored. Reygadas has been described as "the one-man third wave of Mexican cinema";[1] his works are generally considered art films, and are known for their expressionistic cinematography, long takes, and emotionally charged stories. His first and third films, Japón
(2002) and Silent Light (2007), made him one of Latin America's most prominent writer-directors, with various critics having named Silent Light as one of the best films of its decade. His films Battle in Heaven (2005) and Post Tenebras Lux (2012) divided critics.


1 Early life 2 Japón 3 Battle in Heaven
Battle in Heaven
(2005) 4 Silent Light (2007) 5 Post Tenebras Lux (2012) 6 Directorial style 7 Filmography 8 References 9 External links

Early life[edit] Reygadas first became fascinated with cinema in 1987, upon watching the works of the acclaimed Soviet/Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky, who had died the previous year. In 1997, he entered a film competition in Belgium with his first short film, Maxhumain. Japón[edit] Two years after the release of Maxhumain, Reygadas began writing his first feature-length movie. Shooting for the film, named Japón, began in 2001. When finished, the film was presented at the Rotterdam Film Festival and received a special mention for the Caméra d'Or award at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival, as well as the Coral Award of the Havana Film Festival. Many critics[citation needed] argued that Japón (2002) revolutionized Mexican cinema
Mexican cinema
by defying the conventions of dramatic structure and inventing a new cinematographic language that reflects the sensory world humans inhabit while expressing life as an transcendental experience. The film's title questions a simplistic correlation between signifier and signified, for although it is named after Japan, the island country itself is never portrayed, or even mentioned, in any way throughout; the story is set in a remote and impoverished Hidalgo town. The harsh atmosphere of this region is clear, but its remoteness also creates a dreamlike nature that accentuates the metaphysical crisis the protagonist is experiencing. The plot follows the ascension of a man up a deep ravine where he plans to commit suicide, but is finally saved when he falls in love with Ascen (short for Ascension), an old religious and indigenous woman with whom he ultimately has sexual relations. The relation between these two characters has an clear allegorical significance that goes beyond its pure physicality and exposes the ultimate aim of an encounter, the true purpose of all human connectability. In this respect, although Japón
focuses on the inner problems of a single individual, and the protagonist's relation both with the old woman and with the rustic surrounding where the story takes place, in its core it "reveals the potential that cinema has to be truly cosmopolitan, to the extent that it gives us structures for developing empathy towards the foreign and the unfamiliar, and for understanding more deeply the divide between self and other.".[2] Japón
contains a number of scenes of real animal cruelty and the British Board of Film Classification demanded cuts for its UK release in accordance with the Cinematograph Films (Animals) Act 1937. The excised scenes are described as an unsuccessful attempt to strangle a bird which then stumbles around injured on the ground and a dog being forced to 'sing along' to a song through the application of a painful stimulus.[3] The film also includes an unsimulated scene of a bird being shot down and then killed by having its head torn off, and the (off camera) slaughter of a pig.[4] Battle in Heaven
Battle in Heaven
(2005)[edit] In Reygadas' next film, the director once again presents an ontological exploration into the interior of his characters. This time the film follows Marcos, a working class man, who falls into an existential crisis when a child kidnapped by his wife and him, tragically dies. Marcos' remorse becomes even more excruciating when he kills Ana, the free-spirit daughter of his employer, with whom he has sexual relations. This murder deepens Marcos sense of guilt and leads him in a long and painful pilgrimage of repentance to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. During the journey Marcos transforms into a Christ-like figure that eventually assumes a purifying, sacrificial function as he dies inside the famous Mexican church. Battle in Heaven
Battle in Heaven
competed for the Palme d’Or
Palme d’Or
at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival
Cannes Film Festival
and gained worldwide notoriety for its graphic depiction of sexual encounters between its characters .[5] However, these sexual acts has a deeper meaning to them. They are, in essence, a physical depiction of a wider exploration into the bodily experience of the protagonist and the vital forces by which the individual acts against other forces that constantly try to repress his/her desires, impulses, needs and wants. Silent Light (2007)[edit] Similarly to Japón, in his third movie, Silent Light (2007), Reygadas' shatters the very notion that art in “developing nations" should be read as a social, historical or cultural reference to their country of origin. This film, set in a historic Mennonite
community in Chihuahua, Mexico, tells the story of a married man who falls in love with another woman, thus threatening the stability of his family and their place within the conservative community they live in. The dialogue is written in Plattdeutsch, the Low German dialect of the Mennonites, and hence questions a stereotypical conception of what defines Mexico
and Mexicans alike. Furthermore, Silent Light shows several similarities to Ordet
(1955) by Danish director Carl Theodor Dreyer. Although Reygadas' film is not a remake of the European movie it is to a great degree influenced by it, thus accentuating the universality of his work. American director Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese
described Silent Light as "a surprising picture, and a very moving one as well,",[6] while Manohla Dargis of The New York Times called it "an apparently simple story about forgiving" in which "the images are of extraordinary beauty" and "the characters seem to be illuminated from the inside." [1]. Silent Lightwas very positively reviewed by most critics, and was selected as the Mexican entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar at the 80th Academy Awards. It was also nominated for Best Foreign Film at the 24th Independent Spirit Awards and gained nine nominations, including all major categories, in the Ariel Awards, the Mexican national film awards. Furthermore, the film competed for the Palme d'Or
Palme d'Or
at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, and came away as winner of the Jury Prize.[7] The magazine Sight & Sound rated it number 6 on their list of the top films of 2007, while Roger Ebert ranked the film one of the top ten independent films of 2009.[6] Post Tenebras Lux (2012)[edit] In early 2012, Reygadas released Post Tenebras Lux, a semi-autobiographical fiction film, he said has "feelings, memories, dreams, things I’ve hoped for, fears, facts of my current life."[citation needed] As film critic Francine Prose has written, the movie "shifts back and forth between present and past, reality and fantasy, childhood and adulthood [and] offers us a set of images and sequences to which it repeatedly returns; with each of these reprises the image or sequence takes on additional meaning, depth, and nuance."[8] In an interview at the Berlin Festival, Reygadas said that "reason will intervene as little as possible, like an expressionist painting where you try to express what you're feeling through the painting rather than depict what something looks like."[citation needed] The film was shot in Mexico, Britain, Spain, and Belgium, all places where Reygadas has lived, and at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival won the prize of Best Director Award.[9] Currently, Reygadas in working on his fifth film entitled “Donde nace la vida” (2016) with the collaboration of Uruguayan cinematographer Diego Garcia, who worked in Apichatpong Weerasethakal’s Love and in Khon Kaen and Yulene Olaizola’s Fogo. The film´s executive producer and Reygadas´his long-time partner, Jaime Romandia, has stated that the film is “a simple but powerful story of love and loss of love, in open couple relationships, emotional phases on the downfall set in the context of Mexico’s fighting bull-breeding ranches.”[10] In addition to working in his own films, in 2004 Reygadas has also co-produced the film Sangre directed by the young filmmaker Amat Escalante
Amat Escalante
who had worked as his assistant in Battle in Heaven. Presented at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival, Sangre won in the Un Certain Regard section and was also scrrened in other festivals, such as the Toulouse Film Festival, the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the San Sebastian International Film Festival, and the Austin Film Festival. Furthermore, he has worked with the Spanish director and producer Jaime Rosales (Fresdeval Films), in the film El árbol (The Tree). This Spanish-Mexican co-production was directed by Carlos Serrano Azcona and starred Bosco Sodi, a contemporary artist, as the main character. The film was presented at the 2009 Rotterdam Film Festival
Rotterdam Film Festival
and received positive reviews. Directorial style[edit] Reygadas' use of nonprofessional actors shows influence from Italian neorealist philosophies on cinema. While this is a characteristic found in many independent movies, Reygadas is set apart by his ability to fully engage with his actors while guiding them through an internal process by which they can embody scenes that are both physically and emotionally demanding. Reygadas has metaphorically likened the relation between a director and his or her actors to a complete vote of confidence in which both take a risk and enter an adventure: "Pretend I'm a climber and invite you to the Everest. I tell you that I have gone twice and there are certain risks: you can have a stroke, fall or die because of an avalanche. You decide whether or not to go up with me. And that's it."[11] For him, cinema is closer to poetry than to the dramatic arts and hence more focused on capturing the essence of a character through the person filmed than the individual's acting ability. Reygadas' use of long takes and wide shots have been said to depict the sublime as an aesthetic quality found in nature, that can manifest itself both as a terrifying vital force and in more subtle ways.[citation needed] He has opted to shoot all but one of his films in CinemaScope, and often employs an unconventional editing technique that greatly contributes to a lyrical quality in how his narratives unfold.[original research?] Filmography[edit]

Year Original title English title Production country Language Length Award nominations

1999 Maxhumain MaxHumain Belgium Silent 10 min

2002 Japón Japón Mexico Spanish 130 min Directors Fortnight
Directors Fortnight
– " Special
Mention" Camara d'Òr Award

2005 Batalla en el Cielo Battle in Heaven Mexico, France, Germany Spanish 105 min Cannes Film Festival
Cannes Film Festival
"In Competition"

2007 Luz Silenciosa (aka Stellet Licht) Silent Light Mexico, France, Germany, Netherlands Plautdietsch 110 min Cannes Film Festival
Cannes Film Festival
"In Competition" Jury Prize Award

2010 Este es mi Reino This is my Kingdom Mexico Spanish 10 min Berlin Film Festival

2012 Post Tenebras Lux Post Tenebras Lux Mexico, France, Germany, Netherlands Spanish 110 min Cannes Film Festival
Cannes Film Festival
"In Competition" Best Director Award.

2018 Donde nace la vida Where Life is Born



^ "Sight & Sound's films of the decade". British Film Institute. Retrieved December 14, 2016.  ^ "Cosmopolitan Aesthetics in the Films of Carlos Reygadas". Flowtv.org. Retrieved 2015-11-17.  ^ Japon - Alejandro Ferretis, Magdalena Flores, Yolanda Villa ^ Austin360 Movies: 'Japon' Reviews - Los Angeles Times ^ "Festival de Cannes: Battle in Heaven". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-12-05.  ^ "Silent Light", Film Forum website ^ "Festival de Cannes: Silent Light". festival-cannes.com. Archived from the original on 2012-10-12. Retrieved 2009-12-20.  ^ http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2013/05/01/someone-else-memory-post-tenebras-lux/ ^ "Awards 2012". Cannes. Retrieved 2012-05-27.  ^ https://variety.com/2015/film/global/mantarraya-jaime-romandia-carlos-reygadas-amat-escalante-1201616621/ ^ http://www.animalpolitico.com/2012/11/quien-diablos-es-carlos-reygadas

External links[edit]

Carlos Reygadas
Carlos Reygadas
on IMDb Carlos Reygadas
Carlos Reygadas
interview by Peter Fraser, Close-Up Film Carlos Reygadas
Carlos Reygadas
interviewed by José Castillo BOMB, Spring 2010

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Films directed by Carlos Reygadas

(2002) Battle in Heaven
Battle in Heaven
(2005) Silent Light (2007) Post Tenebras Lux (2012)

v t e

Cannes Film Festival
Cannes Film Festival
Best Director Award

René Clément
René Clément
(1946) René Clément
René Clément
(1949) Luis Buñuel
Luis Buñuel
(1951) Christian-Jaque (1952) Jules Dassin
Jules Dassin
/ Sergei Vasilyev
Sergei Vasilyev
(1955) Sergei Yutkevich
Sergei Yutkevich
(1956) Robert Bresson (1957) Ingmar Bergman
Ingmar Bergman
(1958) François Truffaut
François Truffaut
(1959) Yuliya Solntseva
Yuliya Solntseva
(1961) Liviu Ciulei (1965) Sergei Yutkevich
Sergei Yutkevich
(1966) Ferenc Kósa
Ferenc Kósa
(1967) Glauber Rocha
Glauber Rocha
/ Vojtěch Jasný
Vojtěch Jasný
(1969) John Boorman
John Boorman
(1970) Miklós Jancsó
Miklós Jancsó
(1972) Michel Brault / Costa-Gavras
(1975) Ettore Scola
Ettore Scola
(1976) Nagisa Oshima
Nagisa Oshima
(1978) Terrence Malick
Terrence Malick
(1979) Werner Herzog
Werner Herzog
(1982) Robert Bresson / Andrei Tarkovsky
Andrei Tarkovsky
(1983) Bertrand Tavernier
Bertrand Tavernier
(1984) André Téchiné
André Téchiné
(1985) Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese
(1986) Wim Wenders
Wim Wenders
(1987) Fernando Solanas
Fernando Solanas
(1988) Emir Kusturica
Emir Kusturica
(1989) Pavel Lungin
Pavel Lungin
(1990) Joel Coen (1991) Robert Altman
Robert Altman
(1992) Mike Leigh
Mike Leigh
(1993) Nanni Moretti
Nanni Moretti
(1994) Mathieu Kassovitz
Mathieu Kassovitz
(1995) Joel Coen (1996) Wong Kar-wai
Wong Kar-wai
(1997) John Boorman
John Boorman
(1998) Pedro Almodóvar
Pedro Almodóvar
(1999) Edward Yang (2000) Joel Coen / David Lynch
David Lynch
(2001) Im Kwon-taek / Paul Thomas Anderson
Paul Thomas Anderson
(2002) Gus Van Sant
Gus Van Sant
(2003) Tony Gatlif
Tony Gatlif
(2004) Michael Haneke
Michael Haneke
(2005) Alejandro González Iñárritu
Alejandro González Iñárritu
(2006) Julian Schnabel
Julian Schnabel
(2007) Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Nuri Bilge Ceylan
(2008) Brillante Mendoza
Brillante Mendoza
(2009) Mathieu Amalric
Mathieu Amalric
(2010) Nicolas Winding Refn
Nicolas Winding Refn
(2011) Carlos Reygadas
Carlos Reygadas
(2012) Amat Escalante
Amat Escalante
(2013) Bennett Miller
Bennett Miller
(2014) Hou Hsiao-hsien
Hou Hsiao-hsien
(2015) Olivier Assayas
Olivier Assayas
/ Cristian Mungiu
Cristian Mungiu
(2016) Sofia Coppola
Sofia Coppola

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 84179801 LCCN: no2007035486 ISNI: 0000 0001 1680 2540 GND: 139677984 SUDOC: 076093263 BNF: cb1574