BRIMSTONE & GLORY (Viktor Jakovleski, U.S.). 67 minutes. Rating: NNNN Remember the brief cinematic vogue for rapturous scenes of people running through.
BRIMSTONE & GLORY (Viktor Jakovleski, U.S.). 67 minutes. Rating: NNNN
Remember the brief cinematic vogue for rapturous scenes of people running through fireworks in slow motion, captured for posterity in those Levi’s commercials and Benh Zeitlin’s Beasts Of The Southern Wild? Zeitlin’s Court 13 collective finds an exquisite use for that aesthetic in Brimstone & Glory.
Viktor Jakovleski – who produced Zeitlin’s short film Glory At Sea – takes his cameras to Tultepec, a small town in Mexico devoted to the manufacturing of incendiary entertainments. Every spring they hold a massive fireworks festival that attracts enthralled spectators of all ages.
Jakovleski’s cameras witness the construction of towering castillos and the loading of the toritos, huge bull-shaped frames that are set ablaze and led through the city streets. And he shoots the festival itself as an ecstatic crescendo, people abandoning themselves to the sparks in a terrifying collision of faith and flame.
The film was completed before the massive explosion at the San Pablito market last December, which killed 33 people and injured dozens more. But our awareness of that tragedy makes Brimstone & Glory even more compelling viewing.