Burn baby burn! Lux Æterna, Gaspar Noé’s 50-minute exploration into witch hunts, films and flashing lights popped from Cannes straight to the DVD bin, by-passing a theatrical release. It might not be everybody’s cup of Nesquick, but the marginal popular appeal and pure filmmaking interest of the film inspired a private view at Studio 74, at the Exeter Phoenix, for what could herald the start of a regular celebration of underground films.
Here’s more on Lux Æterna, so you can get a flavour of the flick. It’s “a metafictional psychological drama-thriller, the film centres around actresses Charlotte Gainsbourg and Béatrice Dalle playing fiction versions of themselves making a film about witches. However, the production goes haywire and psychotic outbreaks gradually plunge the shoot into chaos.”
Whether you can call Lux Æterna, a film which premiered out-of-competition at Cannes, an underground film is debatable. But why be confined to watching it alone in your bedroom, which is what the lack of cinema release would resort us to? That said, there’s not much commercial appeal to an under-hour French film that includes a fair amount of shouting.
Spinning Path Presents
This is where the idea of these low-key film events comes in. Organised by Simeon Costello, producer at Spinning Path, the hope is that this private event trial will lead to the first of many Spinning Path Presents screenings. They would take films from the periphery and put them front and centre for an audience that is discerning for such things.
As well as top-notch producing at Spinning Path, Simeon has experience of film festivals, being part of the teams at Cork, Dublin and Belfast film fests. His Exeter screening idea is another notch to bring underseen films to a communal audience.
The entertainment and interest benefit is obvious, especially as it’s a little niche. So too was the joy of watching it with a group of people intent on prising out the value and sharing thoughts on films and filmmaking
The nascent plans are to have screenings at the Positive Lights Project in Exeter, a venue that will also accommodate other activities as well as a laid back audience.
“I preordered the Blu-ray of Lux Æterna after struggling to find it screening in any cinemas. The intent was just to watch it at home, but after asking nicely, Exeter Phoenix allowed me to use the cinema for an hour. I felt like none of my friends would have seen or maybe not even heard of this film, so it was a great excuse to invite some people along and watch it together,” Simeon told D&CFilm.
“It got me thinking that there might be an appetite to watch slightly nicher films in a cinema setting, that you definitely wouldn’t get to see in multiplexes, and probably wouldn’t even see in independent cinemas.
Films you’ve probably never heard of…
“Although nothing is confirmed yet, we’ve got some plans to host some more screenings at Positive Light Projects, where we operate out of. Don’t expect big blockbusters, but be prepared to enjoy films you’ve probably never even heard of…”
Keep your eyes peeled
- Ben Kernow | It is alright for a project to scare you a little - August 11, 2022
- Long Way Back | intelligent and unique road movie - August 2, 2022
- Exeter Cinema Heritage | what cinema means projection - July 25, 2022