Silent Light | Chicago Reader

Silent Light

You know you're in for a hard-core art film when you hear more people raving about its opening shot than the movie itself. The Mexican drama Silent Light begins with a spectacular five-minute shot: stars twinkle in the night sky, then the camera spins down to the horizon and time-lapse photography chronicles the majestic sunrise over a field in Chihuahua. The soundtrack is a riot of chirping crickets, progressively augmented by the distant barking and braying of farm animals demanding attention. "The best opening shot of the festival," reported Bright Lights Film Journal after the movie premiered at Cannes in 2007. I heard similar superlatives after Silent Light played at the Toronto film festival later that year. When Film Comment released its 2008 year-end poll, the movie cracked the top 20, though the indispensable boat rocker Armond White, writing in New York Press, has denounced its "noncommittal mystification" and "grandstanding formalism." Continue reading >>


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