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Art House Rules 

Wednesday, May 22 2013

Say this for Mexican director Carlos Reygadas: His films are not predictable. The Latin title of Post Tenebras Lux translates as "After Darkness, Light," but this should not imply any obvious natural logic governing the movie's sequence of narrative events. It's more like a parade of beautiful non-sequiturs, many of them shot through a bevelled lens for extra-dreamy distortion. That title does however also imply a certain grandeur, which Reygadas has in spades. The film's first utterly stunning scene is of a toddler alone in a sodden field full of rambunctious animals, with a big background thunderstorm rolling in. The second is of a toolbox-toting faceless GCI devil, glowing red inside a dusky rural house. How these puzzling, riveting episodes relate to the crumbling marriage at the film's possible core is for Reygadas to know and you to find out. Or not. There won't be answers, but there will be 12-step meetings, a strange self-decapitation, and rugby. It's the best kind of arthouse indulgence — completely transporting, even if you're not sure where the hell it's taking you, or whether you'll ever get back.

May 30-June 2; Sun., June 2, 2013

About The Author

Jonathan Kiefer

SF Weekly movie critic Jonathan Kiefer is on Twitter: @kieferama and of course @sfweeklyfilm.

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