PRINT February 2006


Carlos Reygadas

MADE FORTY YEARS ago, Andy Warhol talkies like Vinyl and Beauty #2 remain the reductio ad absurdum of behavioral direction, a technique that requires nonactors to cope, with negligible instruction, while the camera grinds relentlessly on until it runs out of film.

Orchestrating a Warhol is never easy, but ambitious directors have intermittently experimented with this form of situational performance. Lars von Trier’s The Idiots (1998) and Abbas Kiarostami’s Ten (2002), for example, are each predicated on a setup designed to cue on-camera improvisation. And the thirty-four-year-old Mexican filmmaker Carlos Reygadas has recently established himself as a Warholian impresario who, working without a screenplay, creates existential conditions under which nonprofessional actors are compelled to expose themselves—sometimes cruelly—on camera.

Reygadas attracted immediate attention in 2002 for his

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