The latest feature by Carlos Reygadas, Post Tenebras Lux (After Darkness Light), has proven to be his most divisive. Premiering to mixed responses at the Cannes Film Festival last year, with belligerent boos and hooting reported from certain corners of the audience, Reygadas was still bestowed with the Best Director Award and ten months down the line debate continues as to whether the film is a misjudged masterpiece or “offensively self-indulgent cubist folly”, as the Hollywood Reporter so eloquently labelled it.
On Sunday 9 December the ICA Cinema will hold a screening of James Franco’s My Own Private River – the first time the film has been publicly exhibited in the UK.
The project has a rather idiosyncratic history: whilst working with Gus Van Sant on the set of Milk (2008), in which he had been cast in the role of Scott Smith, Harvey Milk’s lover and campaign manager, Franco seized the opportunity to ply the director with questions about My Own Private Idaho (1991) – his self-professed favourite film – the subject of River Phoenix and his landmark performance being a particular point of fascination.
The Legend of Kaspar Hauser, the story of a nineteenth century man who claimed to have been raised in total isolation, is reimagined as an androgynous woman who washes up on a mysterious Mediterranean island. S/he promptly takes on the respective roles of messiah and enemy for the characters of the Sheriff and the Pusher. Director Davide Manuli cast the equally maverick Vincent Gallo in both roles for a visually breathtaking re-working of the German fable.
Our cinema programmer Jo Blair interviews Manuli about the film: Continue reading