Often touted as the man behind the return of maximalism to cinema, Argentine director (and perhaps genius) Gaspar Noé has just returned with Lux Æterna, as Yellow Veil Pictures released the film’s official trailer this week.

The trailer may leave you a bit confused about the film’s premise, so here’s a quick explainer.

“Lux Æterna takes place backstage of a French film production, often utilizing split-screens to follow two characters at once. Charlotte Gainsbourg, acting as herself, plays the film’s — and the film-within-a-film’s — leading role of an actress taking on the role of a witch burned at the stake while French actress Beatrice Dalle, playing a version of herself as well, takes on the on-screen role of director. 

The film progresses with mounting tension as the set descends into aggressive chaos— both in style, form, and plot.”

Riveting stuff – and very similar in some senses to the thrilling, terrifying concepts captured in Noé’s 2018 film, Climax. Æterna takes on a similar vein of capturing the moral and psychological descent of a group of performers – this time a film crew instead of a troupe of talented dancers with dark inner selves and copious amounts of LSD to bring this to the surface.

This time, Noé tackles much of the same themes but in different ways – plunging elements of docufiction filmmaking into a trippy, strobing psychedelic mindscape that’s better observed than described. Making this vision a reality are producers Anthony Vaccarello & Saint Laurent, Gary Farkas, Clément Lepoutre, and Olivier Muller for Vixens, & Gaspar Noé and Lucile Hadzihalilovic for Les Cinémas de la Zone. 

Fans, meanwhile, have sprung up with interest – many of them looking forward to another mindbending experience that stratches the limits of cinema:

Lux Æterna originally hit the film festival circuit in 2019, and is now being released in theaters in May 2022 courtesy of Yellow Veil Pictures. This will be followed later in the year by a full digital and collector’s edition home video release.

(Featured Image Credits: UFO Distribution, Potemkine Films)