In their fourth and latest installment to the introspective art project dubbed SELF, Saint Laurent unveiled a film directed by Gaspar Noé at the Cannes Film Festival. Known for his provocative and salacious body of work (like his previous film that debuted at the Cannes, Climax), Noé was enlisted by Saint Laurent’s creative director Anthony Vaccarello to create LUX ÆTERNA a film-style essay centered on the art of movie-making and the actor’s creative process.

This film, like the three other SELF projects that came before it, seeks to depict the complexities of the human condition, filtered through the lenses of Noé’s unique perspective as well as the distinct Saint Laurent identity. It played to an audience at a special midnight screening on the 18th of May, at the Palais des Festivals.

"Lux Aeterna" Red Carpet - The 72nd Annual Cannes Film Festival
Left to Right: Anthony Vaccarello, Beatrice Dalle , Charlotte Gainsbourg and Gaspar Noe attend the screening of “Lux Aeterna” during the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival on May 18, 2019 in Cannes, France.
Photo: Getty

Meta, dark, and visually stimulating, LUX ÆTERNA features thumping beats and flashing neon lights reminiscent of Saint Laurent’s club-rock image. The film stars French actresses Béatrice Dalle and Charlotte Gainsbourg (seen in the clip above), and the plot sees Dalle directing Gainsbourg in a ‘film-within-a-film’ portrayal of all the things that can go wrong on a movie set. Also included in the 51-minute run-time is a fun, eccentric conversation between the two actresses about witches and embarrassing moments in their career, among other things.

For Vaccarello, Noé was an “instinctive choice” to direct this project. The creative director said of the film-maker, “I like his narrative approach, the whole process. We talked about experimental movies from the 60s and 70s, especially the ones from Kenneth Anger. The only thing I asked him was to improvise a story.” He also gave a nod to the two stars of the short film, “Filming it with Béatrice and Charlotte was one of my inner darkest fantasies”.

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