LUX ÆTERNA – Review by Leslie Combemale

At the end of his experimental film Lux Aeterna, writer/director and provocateur Gaspar Noé plasters the line “Thank God I’m an atheist” onto the screen. As an auteur, cinema should be Noé’s chosen deity, although whether he did it dirty or created a worthy offering to that god with his movie is a matter of opinion. As Gaspar Noé films go, this is the least objectionable, which honestly wouldn’t take much. The whole thing becomes such a chaotic mess and goes so absurdly over the top, it almost becomes fun. Almost. It’s too bad the only way he felt he might bring joy results in a pounding headache and eyestrain.

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JANE BY CHARLOTTE – Review by Valerie Kalfrin

Charlotte Gainsbourg grew up the daughter of actors Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg and has been onscreen since she was a teen. So it’s both not surprising and intriguing that for her directorial debut, the documentary Jane by Charlotte, she turns the camera on interactions with her famous mom. The two have a relaxed rapport as they rehearse singing onstage, shop for a bulldog, dine out, and hang around Birkin’s home in Brittany, giving Jane by Charlotte the loose construction of home movies. While that makes for some warm moments, it also gives little context for comments and events that could enhance the emotional impact.

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SUNDOWN – Review by Diane Carson

Sundown offers a painstaking character study with family dynamics. How does any writer/director cinematically dramatize the life of a middle-aged man, ensnared in ennui, relatively emotionless? That’s the challenge Michel Franco confronts in Sundown. Well, first, to infuse interest, he locates the wealthy British family on vacation at an upscale Acapulco resort, though the sun-drenched beaches and the infinity pool contrast strikingly with the Bennetts’ inertia.

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