Tuesday, September 11, 2018

OUR TIME: TIFF 2018 HIGHLIGHT #4



Carlos Reygadas has crafted a trilogy of films all dealing with couples putting their respective relationships to the so-called ultimate test. In Silent Light it was infidelity, in Post Tenrbras Lux it was a swingers bath house experience, and with Our Time, it’s an open relationship. Reygadas' latest doesn’t have any of the weird and/or surreal stuff that Post Tenebras Lux has but the two films are still visually similar. And while Silent Light belongs with Japon & Battle In Heaven in terms of execution, it fits more in line with his last two in terms of the basic plot. Our Time is still meditative, ambient and slightly transgressive in a broad sense.
Our Time is also an incredibly frustrating movie. But that’s the point. I imagine an open relationship between two frustrating people with kids (like in the film of discussion) would be a nightmare. Reygadas just validates this with his latest project.
Open relationships are far from my thing (I'm old fashioned when it comes to my lady). But if that is your thing - no judgment on my end. But...if you have the kind of open relationship that Juan & Ester have in Our Time, then I may judge you a little...

Juan (Reygadas) is kind of a bitch (sorry to sound so blunt & crass but it's true). He's certainly not the kind of person who can handle an open relationship and it shows. While he has been lied to by his wife (although I don’t understand how you can lie in an open relationship, but whatever...), he’s very naggy, hovering & insecure. Sure his current relationship situation - a situation he allowed to happen - has forced him to be this way, I still get the sense that he’s a naggy insecure person no matter what.
And on the other end of the relationship - Ester is incredibly selfish & bratty (also a bit immature for the open relationship she’s in). And again - they also have three children to take care of/think of about. There's no time for childish arguments and unnecessary jealousy.

But again - all of this is intentional. I know this movie sounds grueling & unappealing but outside of all the intentionally frustrating moments, Our Time is a beautiful film that shows a side of Mexico we don’t really see outside of Amat Escalante, Reygadas and a few others. Reygadas is also still interested in representing the rich/upper-class of Mexico. But that's his world. I'd prefer he focus on the kinds of people he knows.

The residue of Tarkovsky has yet to leave Reygadas which is evident in this comparisons below...
Our Time / Solaris

And while Peter Greenaway & Carlos Reygads couldn't be more different, I still found the idea of the insecure artist in a somewhat open relationship with his wife in Our Time to be reminiscent of Greenaway's Belly Of An Architect.
The Belly Of An Architect / Our Time

And to keep piling on - Our Time is also three hours long. And while it's beautiful to look at, it still feels like a real three hours. But this is still a brilliant piece of cinema. Along with High Life & Shoplifters, Our Time is easily one of the best movies I’ve seen at festival thus far (also Reygadas’ best film after Post Tenebras Lux).