‘Incident light’ is an occasional light that hits something, whether it comes from a direct or indirect source. A clever name choice for a film which enlightens a simple tale of grieving. Minimalistic and enriched by an extraordinary performance of actress Erica Rivas, Incident Light is a proof that cinema can be grandiose as long as the filmmaker is capable of blending a delicate script, a touching performance and superb photography. Incident Light is a sparkling glimpse of highbrow cinema that may not get the recognition it deserves. Instead it will always linger and shine in the memory of those who came across the story of Luisa (Erica Rivas).
In the Argentina of the 1960s Luisa faces a big tragedy in her life after losing her brother and husband in a car crash. Widowed and traumatised, she is left with two little daughters and in an unstable financial situation. At a party she meets Ernesto, a mysterious and rich man, that manifests an intense interest in her. A suitor that could resolve her imminent problems but who instead creates a discomfort for Luisa, who just carries on grieving.
Directed and written by Ariel Rotter this piece introduces from the beginning, and in each scene, a small detail that will reveal the nuances of Luisa’s turmoil. Most of the action feels staged for a theatre, particularly the lengthy scenes of the protagonist’s pain and suffering. She is unable to overcome the past tragedy and embrace a new future. Combined with a magnificent black and white photography (by DOP Guilhermo Nieto), Rotter finds the right path to create Luisa’s universe. Incident Light sometimes evokes the melancholic atmosphere of Michelangelo Antonioni’s The Night (1961) – perhaps because it is black and white and takes place in the 1960s.
Erica Rivas does a great job in conveying Luisa’s dilemma – she was recently in Damián Szifron’s Wild Tales (2014), – the biggest foreign language hit in the UK box office in 2015. In Wild Tales, a compilation of short stories, Rivas acts in an unforgettable wedding scene. Coincidentally she also dances a waltz in Incident Light, if in a very different context and mindset. The film has classic 1960s’ beauty and feeling, with very few close-ups. Rivas even looks a little like Audrey Hepburn.
The film is showing as part of the Argentine Film Festival taking place in London right now – just click here for more information about the event.
You can watch the film trailer below: