Lux Æterna is a colourfully frenetic exploration of the sacrifice and anguish involved in art; taking place on set for an experimental film about witchcraft, it soon spirals into a reflexive satire on fragile egos, derailed production and the disorientating pressures of filmmaking.
Starring Charlotte Gainsbourg (Antichrist, Nymphomaniac) and Béatrice Dalle (Betty Blue, Trouble Every Day, Inside) playing themselves in a fittingly uncomfortable dissection of persona, further embellishing the meta nature of the film’s blurring of fiction and reality.
Continuing in the strobing tradition of disturbing, hallucinatory and transgressive excess, Lux Æterna is a notably shorter burst of intensity (51mins), shot over just five days and largely improvised, it stands between Climax (2018) and Vortex (2021) like a formalist challenge (so many flickering lights) that doubles as a histrionic self-portrait of the artist.
Convulsing between an appreciation of Dreyer (specifically Day of Wrath) and Fassbinder, before drawing on the more avant-garde visuals of Tony Conrad or Ken Jacobs.
Glamorous, mad, and often inimitably challenging, this is a deliriously uncompromising film about film: if film was tied to the stake and burning.