(ru) wrote: Allow me to begin by addressing a fundamental fact. Raging Sun, Raging Sky is explicitly, unashamedly, no-bones-about-it gay cinema- and if this is a hurdle you cannot overcome, you are no true cinephile. Because as out-and-proud as Raging Sun, Raging Sky is, it's also hardcore art house.Raging Sun, Raging Sky is Julin Hernndez' forth feature length film as director. Really, calling it a film is to be sloppy with words. Really it's an opus. His magnum opus, even. Being unfamiliar with the director's work at the time of watching Raging Sun, Raging Sky, I decided to Google one of his other titles, 'Broken Sky', to gauge whether it would be a film I'd like to see or not. It doesn't seem to have the same flare as this, and it was made before this one, so I think there's a very real and clear progression in the director's skills. This is judging from a trailer, but once you see the cinematography and direction in this film, you'll understand why one is able to compare so definitively from the viewing of a mere trailer of another film.The fundamental story of the film is in fact quite simple. A typical, quintessential love story with all the tropes you'd expect. Will they or won't they end up together? Are they right for each other? Is this third person going to stand in the way of true love? Just another typical love story. However, in communicating this love story the film shifts between two planes: the stylised reality, and the entirely symbolic. The first two acts of the film mainly show how the characters meet and, more so, explores their desires whilst they search for their perfect other. This is the film at it's most graphic.The third act flips this and takes place on an entirely symbolic plane. Here, one should be reminded of Pasolini. The film drowsily fades into an exploration of the dynamic that exists between the three main characters, subsequently allowing the viewer to consider the theme of destiny and love in an ethereal form. It is in the third act, the film is most intense. The characters' love, passion, lust, desire, and intensity are crafted on to the screen so skilfully that one can't help but be reminded of a famous artist's landscapes or portraits. The imagery is striking, and the characters are undeniable in their effectiveness. This is the film at it's most aesthetically pleasing.From the synopsis I've just provided, I wouldn't at all be surprised if a reader was entirely underwhelmed. For two reasons. My words simply cannot paint a visual masterpiece. That's what the film is by the way, visually, a masterpiece. And secondly, because the story is so well-trodden. One is hardly going to feel any sense of excitement for yet another love story, right? But you need to get it. It's not about the story, it's all about how that story is communicated. It is my opinion that Hernndez has almost matched Ingmar Bergman's unrivalled use of the black and white photography in the infinitely classic opus Persona. Raging Sun, Raging Sky is visual poetry. In the stylised portrayal of reality, the black and white tones are masterfully evoked by the lighting. The juxtaposition of dark and light sometimes is just so beautiful it creates the illusion that one is looking at a pencil drawing; the actors' bodies at times can seem sculpture-esque. When the story turns to the symbolic, we are once again hit with a visual tour-de-force by a grainy, high contrast, low exposure exploration of the arid Mexican landscape. It is not superlative to explain this section of the film as looking nothing less than a charcoal painting.As I mentioned earlier, Hernndez will no doubt remind the viewer of Pasolini with this film. The lack of dialogue, the stunning visuals (although I think visually, Hernndez has outdone Pasolini here), the sexuality, and the mixture of fantasy and reality all evoke his memory. One wonders, had this film been less gay and less explicit, would it be as revered as Pasolini's films are? The film isn't without it's problems though. Not least the simple story, which really should probably have lost this film half, or even a full star, if you're particularly harsh, but it is just visually so outstanding I'd be hard pressed to rate it any lower. Still, this film is certainly not for everyone. With it's 3 hour runtime, lack of dialogue, and disparate narrative, it is one for only the art house aficionado. And although no cinephile would allow the homoeroticism to deter them from watching the film, I can't help but admit that something is lost in not being able to be aroused by the sex, as the director obviously intends the audience to be so. Clearly this is a film to be enjoyed for it's visuals, and not necessarily for the story- although it is in itself fun to piece the story together as it goes on. The story is, in the end, however, simple, and to this extent one can't help but wish such a beautiful film was saved for a different tale; alas, it was not, so we must take solace in the fact that just as a poem uses the most beautiful language to explain the simplest of concepts, so too does Raging Sun Raging Sky.