Lacrima Christi is the longest of the over 150 films made by the Mexican filmmaker resident in Paris, Teo Hernández. Part three of a tetralogy devoted to Christ’s Passion, Lacrima Christi is an exploration of the transfer between desire and myth that takes as its starting point a series of objects found in the flea market of Belleville.
“Making Lacrima Christi, I realised I have two opposing blood lines.” Instead of characters, in Lacrima Christi we recognise the forms of action, the fixation, the dissolution, the multiplication and the projection of alchemy; instead of the Holy Grail, Teo Hernández evokes the cosmos using pearls, wine glasses, flowers, candles, magnifying glasses or a crystal ball. Here, all movement is the result of intoxication. When the film is revealed as a membrane between body and dreams, cinema becomes a translucent screen. The editing process caresses or devours. The image has crossed through the looking glass.
Teo Hernández held that Christ was the last divinity of the ancient and the first of the modern worlds. Taking the camera as his second eye, he filmed with teeth clenched and muscles contracted, standing on one foot. This state of tension resembles nerve impulses. The rhythm of his solar cinema is that of the blood coursing round his body. If each cut is a mirror, if the screen is the place on which gestures are recorded, then, from anamorphosis to amamnesis, why should this last redoubt of a story be anything more than a tiny molecule of dust?
- Lacrima Christi, Teo Hernández, 1978-1979, 127 min. 16mm screening.