Carlos Reygadas Poster


Jump to: Overview (2)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trade Mark (1)  | Trivia (7)  | Personal Quotes (20)

Overview (2)

Born in Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Birth NameCarlos Reygadas Castillo

Mini Bio (1)

Carlos Reygadas was born on October 10, 1971 in Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico as Carlos Reygadas Castillo. He is married to Natalia López.

Spouse (1)

Natalia López (? - present)

Trade Mark (1)

Credits set in the ITC Bauhaus typeface

Trivia (7)

Played rugby for the Mexican national team.
Studied law.
Worked for the Mexican foreign service in Brussels.
Martin Scorsese called Reygadas' Silent Light (2007) "A surprising picture, and a very moving one as well.".
His top ten films of all time are: The Young and the Damned (1950), Sansho the Bailiff (1954), A Man Escaped (1956), The Executioner (1963), Persona (1966), Andrei Rublev (1966), Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988), Mother and Son (1997), Gummo (1997) and Werckmeister Harmonies (2000).
Member of the 'Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' (AMPAS) since 2016.
Retrospective at the 12th New Horizons Film Festival (2012).

Personal Quotes (20)

After I make a film I psychoanalyze myself retroactively so that I can give explanations to journalists and film people. But I don't believe in those explanations myself.
[when asked what the actors in his films are doing, if not acting] They just Are. In philosophy there are two qualities. The act of being, and the act of being what they are. I wish my actors would just Be, first of all. And secondly, that they would be a chauffeur with an internal conflict. But the act of being is the one I really want to state.
[on Battle in Heaven (2005)] At the end I am not saying that having your dick sucked means this is paradise. But I am just saying that we long for things and we long for love. Hope is the most important feeling we can have.
[on the nudity in Battle in Heaven (2005)] We are all naked when we go to the shower. At least twice or three times a day we are naked. And most of us have sex, once a week or more. It's a thing that occurs often. But it's not represented ever on film. So the normal thing to do would be to ask every other director why they don't have sex in their film and not ask me about it. I am the only normal one.
I really think most of what we call cinema is not cinema. It's really film theatre or, even worse, illustrated literature. The object of the film is the story and the characters are just technical people representing something. Most cinema is comic books. In my opinion that is not real cinema. Real cinema is much closer to music. Music doesn't represent anything, it is just something that will convey feeling. It doesn't mean anything. I hate the idea that film is actually telling a story! The great part of film is to make you feel, not by the narrative. For example the first shot of Silent Light (2007) is cinematic. The light itself is beautiful. In literature, that does not exist. You can just write, "The sun came up." The beauty in my film is the sun itself. You don't have to recreate it. In cinema, the story and the photography are the same thing. It's not like, "I don't like the story, but great photography." The photography is the film itself; it's not a vehicle for the story. I don't want a story and then you illustrate it, in a way that there will always be a division between form and meaning. I think in art, form and meaning are the same thing. In that sense, music is the most noble of arts, because it does not permit you to separate the music from the meaning. When cinema is true, it is a language in itself - that is why it is an art. I hate the idea that a good film is a good story, as Hollywood people say. That's not letting cinema be totally free.
I lived in Europe for twelve years. I left because it is spiritually dead. People in Europe live in fear.
[on Battle in Heaven (2005)] It's my problem child, and therefore the film of mine I love most.
Both Battle in Heaven (2005) and Silent Light (2007) have a sense of redemption; life can be really hard, but wonderful, in both.
I've never understood all those children's films about animals that talk and little animated spoons. When they ask me what I think of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, I always say, "I don't understand them, they're for children." And when I was a child, I didn't understand films for adults and now I don't understand films for children. I don't understand why so many people understand films for children.
What's so outrageous about a naked obese woman? There are plenty of astonishing images in other films with flying cars and such. What you find in my films you see any ordinary day: a gas station, a hunter killing an animal, people making love. I'm not trying to impress anyone with these images; they make sense in the context of my films. People feel uncomfortable seeing a beheaded pigeon. What's the big deal? With Battle in Heaven (2005) some people accused me of filming monstrous people making love and then showing that to the public. How did they come up with that? My subjects never seemed monstrous or grotesque to me. Mexico has the second highest rate of obesity in the world. My subjects are overweight, and yes, I filmed them making love, and walking, and I love them and that's it. Whoever thinks I'm depicting something shocking is a hypocrite who thinks that what he or she would prefer not to see simply doesn't exist. For me the real is beautiful. Blood is beautiful if it's real, but a beautiful woman and a beautiful house are horrible to me if they're not authentic. All these 'feel-good' things to me feel 'really bad' - their falsehood is depressing.
[on Silent Light (2007)] I am not particularly interested in Mennonites. I like that they are so uniform, so monolithic. They are all dressed the same; there are no social or economic classes, pre-judgements about physical beauty, or anything like that. They are archetypes: the mother, grandmother, children. I wanted archetypes. This way, I could concentrate on the essential: the love story. It's not a film about Mennonites. It's a film about people. It is a difficult triangle. Here there is a divided heart: a man who really loves both. Everyone feels compassion for each other. The other woman wakes up the wife in an act of compassion. Christ died on the cross for us. It is the same for her. She did this for the love of her man.
I have an aversion to photography. I love it in cinema and I like to see other people's photographs, but I don't like the idea of stopping to take a photo. I hate social photos. I hate photos of myself. I hate photos that capture moments of joy. Photographs are the true image of death. Whenever I see a person in a photograph I think of them as dead.
[on Silent Light (2007)] I begin and end with stars. This is the beginning and end of the story. There is the universe - the broadest and largest thing - then we go to the story of these three characters - and then back to the universe. It is like our life; we think we are the centre of the universe but then we are nothing too.
[discussing Light After Darkness (2012) at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival] We human beings have images of the past, we have dreams, memories, fantasies, projected future that mostly doesn't come as we imagine it, and we don't change from one to another with a code in ordinary life, so I didn't want to use a code in the film. I think the public is very wise and is moving very fast in cinema and there's no need for such codes any more. So I didn't want anything that would make you as the public connect directly what is the future, what is the past, what is imagined, what is fantasy, as it happens in our own lives, in our own heads. So I really respect the public very much and that's why I make films in this way. Intelligent viewers don't need to be led and will eventually follow. Something I find really strange is that the people who saw the film here last night went to school, read books, and I say this not because I'm comparing myself - but think of "The Metamorphosis" by Kafka, which was written almost a hundred years ago. Nobody knows if he really transforms into an insect or not, there's no explanation, and if there was an explanation, I'm sure we wouldn't be reading that book anymore. Why is it that when people read it - or read Joyce, and again I'm not saying that I'm like Joyce - but why can they read and accept these books, but why do they need explanations when they're watching films?
[on negative reaction to Light After Darkness (2012) at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival] People asked me today how can you have the nerve to do something like that, and I said, I know that if I like it, there will be some other people who like it. In the time of the Greeks, Seneca said, the better a piece of art, the more rejection it will receive in its moment - that's a social law. Friends in Mexico who saw it didn't think it would be so divisive. You know, people here are tired, they're paid to judge and they think they have to judge before they feel.
[on the appearance of the Devil in Light After Darkness (2012)] I can't really explain what this means but I can tell you where it comes from. The apartment where we shot the Devil is the house where I was born and where I lived for the first five years of my life, and the toolbox that the Devil has is my father's toolbox which he had before I was born, and still has of course. I've had that dream several times over, particularly when I was a child, and I think I was rather traumatised perhaps by that dream and that's where it crept into my film.
When I wanted to make my first movie I was a lawyer and indeed liked law, but I remember wanting a change of life. I wanted to feel more freedom on a day-to-day basis. Actually, though, I wanted to make a first movie in order to see if I had any talent for filmmaking - that was it. I had no idea whether I could pull it off or not. I went ahead and tried my hand at making a movie, but I knew nothing about the system. This determined what I've been doing ever since. As it turns out, the film I made ended up reflecting my personal vision. I'm convinced that to be original all you have to do is be yourself: we're all original. It's like people's fingerprints. So, automatically I reflected a personal world.
[on Light After Darkness (2012)] The film is a study of adults who are blocked, emotionally, spiritually maybe, which is the case of most adults in the developed world today. The lead character realises he's been ill in his life, and he hasn't been able to recognise how everything is shining and alive, and life is wonderful by the act of simply existing. The whole point is: darkness comes, of course, but to free yourself from it as much as possible, and try to be enlightened.
For me, each film is an act of life, of existence. I never think of myself as making a career out of this. Everything just reflects a moment of my existence, of my being. So I don't know what I'm doing next and I don't care much. Whatever I do, there will have to be a deep, powerful, internal need and will come out when it has to come out.
[on Light After Darkness (2012)] People ask me: is it just a collection of images? Of course not: in this film all the sequences work together with one another. I don't think you can take any of the 25 scenes and put them in a different order. It may not be the traditional narrative of cinema but it's actually pretty straightforward. It's true there is no clear code to read it, whether this is the past or the future, or if it is imaginary or not; but it's supposed to be like that, and you only understand retrospectively. We are used to knowing exactly what's going on when we are watching something, which is very strange because in life it is precisely the opposite. Most of the time in life we are living through things and don't know what they mean at the time, except at a very superficial level. It is only later they become important, or take on a particular relevance.

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