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‘Lux Æterna’ Trailer: Gaspar Noé Turns a Chaotic Film Shoot into Psychedelic Sensory Overload

Exclusive: The maximalist filmmaker turned a fashion commercial into a Cannes Midnight hit.

‘Lux Æterna’

“Lux Æterna”

Yellow Veil Pictures

Gaspar Noé is synonymous with visually stunning psychedelic filmmaking, as the Argentine director has continued to crank up the maximalism in the decade since his 2009 film “Enter the Void” was released. But his latest work, “Lux Æterna,” may be his most excessive project yet. Exclusively on IndieWire, watch the official trailer below.

The film, which premiered in the midnight section of the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, emerged from a collaboration with legendary fashion house Yves Saint Laurent. Noé was unable to constrain his creativity into the confines of a traditional commercial and conceived of the project as a 50-minute mockumentary about a film shoot gone wrong. Saint Laurent is listed as a producer on the film, but the project is a bona fide original work from Noé.

The resulting film, “Lux Æterna,” is… very flashy, to say the least. The new trailer is a barrage of neon strobe lights that begins with a warning for seizure-prone viewers to avert their eyes. Those who keep watching are treated to a highly stylized montage about the difficulties of filmmaking, illuminated by a cornucopia of colored lights. Béatrice Dalle summarizes the film’s ethos in the trailer when her character says, “The film is beautiful, so it’s okay. But when you’re doing it, the ends justify the means.”

Noé’s flashy technical wizardry is the real star of “Lux Æterna,” so the official synopsis keeps plot details brief. It reads: “Béatrice Dalle and Charlotte Gainsbourg are on a film set telling stories about witches. Technical problems and psychotic outbreaks gradually plunge the shoot into chaos.”

In his Cannes review, IndieWire’s Eric Kohn described the film as “a trippy sketch of a project overloaded with stroboscopic effects that could very well send some viewers into epileptic seizures. Still, as a minor work, it provides an enjoyable snippet of rambunctious formalism that puts Noé in a category of his own.”

Yellow Veil Pictures will release “Lux Æterna” at New York City’s Metrograph May 6, followed by a Los Angeles release on May 13 and an eventual national rollout soon after.

Noé’s most recent film was “Vortex,” releasing later this year from Utopia.

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