Art is all about creativity and creativity breeds ingenuity. Luz is a mixture of these things, in amongst some excellent acting and a thick atmosphere where things are not quite as they seem.
The story begins with Luz (Velis) shuffling into an under staffed and under funded police station, there she retells the events of her night. Meanwhile Nora (Riedler) is telling her newly made friend at the bar, her version of events. These two versions collide later at the police station. In keeping that story description vague, I have kept the best part of Luz hidden. To spoil that would be a huge disservice to the film.
Tilman Singer has made a very European, very inventive film, that plays with visuals and not in an effects driven way but with static camera shots of long shot, long takes. Using fog and shadows the film is imbued with a mysterious pall. The director has also layered sound over sound and language over language which comes together in an interrogation sequence that plays in two different languages one spoken, one translated and it was really well done.
Velis gets her chance to really shine in this interrogation scene and honestly she is great throughout the film. Riedler as Nora is just magnetic, her first scene in the film with Jan Bluthardt is amazing and you just cannot take your eyes off her, whilst Bluthardt is great as well and actually all the other players are just damn near perfect.
The music in the film is almost used as another character and it enhances every scene. Adding a menace and threat whilst remaining sparse and never overwhelming. Working clearly within a budget but in full control of what he is doing. Tilman shows his influences (Fulci for one) and packs a lot into the slight but welcomed 70 minute runtime.
Luz is a mood piece that just works and this is despite the film not fully explaining everything (by accident or by design) but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Tilman Singer has come out of the blocks strongly and it will be interesting to see what kind of trip he takes us on next.
Luz opens in NY and LA July 19 with wider release to follow
Ryan Morrissey-Smith | Twitter: @TigersMS78
Images: Screen Media Films