Luz is an experimental horror film with the theme of possession, by an ambitious young director named Tilman Singer. Initially, he made the Luz film as a graduate thesis project. After that Luz began touring the world from one film festival to another and received various responses. Unlike other films with the theme of possessions in general, Luz has a quite unique and different approach from the general subgenre.
Even though the story is simple, it is still a little difficult for me to explain the synopsis of Luz’s film briefly, because the plot is not very structured. Besides, the plot of this film doesn’t seem too important. But I still have to write it down. The film opens with a female taxi driver named Luz walking slowly into the police station looking confused.
After buying a drink from a vending machine, Luz started rambling on the clerk behind the reception desk. This scene was shot using a long shot technique and lasted approximately three minutes. “Is this what you want in your life? Is this what you really want? ” That’s what Luz screams in the opening of the film. Luz arrived in a daze and had a slight wound on his face. But the police are confused and want to find out what really happened to Luz.
At the same time, a police psychiatrist / psychotherapist named Dr. Rossini was sitting alone in a bar. Then a woman named Nora approached and invited her to chat. Finally they sat down at a table. While drinking alcoholic drinks laced with drugs, Nora begins to tell a story about a friend from school whom she calls a unique “talent”.
The woman he was talking about was Luz. Nora then invited Dr. Rossini to the bathroom. As if to kiss him, Nora held the doctor’s face. But Nora wasn’t about to make love. That’s when something moved from inside Nora to Dr. Rossini. Since then, something evil has gotten into Dr. Rossini and Nora fell unconscious.
Drunk and possessed, Dr. Rossini then went to the police station. Since the beginning he sat at the bar, the police station had indeed called him via message on the pager, because he had an assignment for Dr. Rossini. At the police station, Dr. Rossini is asked to interrogate a dazed Luz through hypnotic means.
Hypnosis Dr. Rossini performed in a large conference room filled with chairs. Police commissioner Bertillon and another officer named Olarte whose job it was to record the audio of the hypnosis session were also present in the room. Under hypnosis, Luz began to re-enact what he had just experienced. The five seats were arranged in the order of the seats in a taxi, with the hypnotized Luz playing the taxi driver, and Dr. Rossini plays Luz’s passenger, who turns out to be Nora. So, I assume this accident happened before Nora met Dr. Rossini at the bar.
After the accident, Luz went to the police station, and Nora went to the bar. Most of the time in the film is then spent on recreating Luz’s traffic accident, after Luz and Nora have reunited for the first time since their last school meeting. Luz and Nora’s meeting then opened wounds and old stories about an event that was quite dark in the past.
LUZ is a strange film with lots of gaps and inconsistencies in the plot. It took me some time to get used to the rhythm of this film just to find out what really happened. The story in Luz’s film itself is not presented linearly. The structure of this film is more like the structure in a dream, which means that there is no clear structure.
If you want to shorten it, the basic story is quite simple. Luz is chased by a demon that he “invited” accidentally in his school days. As simple as that. But as I mentioned earlier, the plot of this film doesn’t really matter. Basically, Luz is an arthouse cinema product, which usually focuses more on exploring taste, aesthetics, atmosphere, and experiences for the audience, rather than exploring the story. In addition, from the beginning Luz’s film also felt more like a stage play with a set,
rather than a film. And just like watching a theater performance, who cares about the storyline? So clearly, the aim of this film is all about the viewing experience. This is a film that prioritizes style rather than story content. So if you are expecting a film with a clear storyline or complex drama problems, twists, etc., maybe this film is not right for you.
What makes this film quite successful, in my opinion, lies in its quite tense and awkward atmosphere. I am not a practitioner in the film field. So, as a layman I imagine how difficult it is to translate the atmosphere and taste only through motion pictures and sound. Luz’s film is able to bring an atmosphere that makes the audience feel uncomfortable just through its atmosphere,
especially during the hypnotic scene of Dr. Rossini. Add to this the room and police station that looked completely empty, and sometimes filled with fog, making it look like a nightmare scene. The very strong atmosphere in the Luz film is fully supported by its brilliant sound design and eye-catching cinematography. With a sound and cinematography like this, it feels like Luz will be very suitable if watched on a big screen and a capable sound system, for example the theater theater room.
The avant-garde approach in Luz’s film may not seem strange to connoisseurs of this kind of art. But like other works of art, the audience will respond with different tastes. In fact, not all audiences are ready to digest experimental art-house films like Luz, including myself. So it is not surprising that this film gets various responses, just as the wider community responds to a certain abstract painting, or noise and ambient music.
As a work of cinematic art, I can imagine that the director Tilman Singer will be quite successful through Luz. This film also left a certain impression and taste for me. Luckily, Luz only lasts about 70 minutes, which in my opinion is quite efficient for this kind of film. In the end, I didn’t really care anymore about why the devil was chasing Luz and why he bothered himself by moving around a long time ago, just to get to Luz. All of that becomes insignificant. This minimalist trance drama might be an option for those of you who are looking for something unusual, or want to experience a different viewing experience, on condition: not easily drowsy because of the slow rhythm and all the monotony.