A terrorist attack takes place on the island of Brač, with Croatian pop star Tajči’s song in the background. The attackers wear tinsel-spangled masks – the same ones that appear in the video of Natalie Portman’s hit song. Bizarre as it may sound, it is the key scene of Vox Lux film, a sensation from the last edition of Venice Film Festival. One of last winter’s most talked-about films finally comes to Croatia, to Motovun Film Festival.
Natalie Portman is excellent in the role of pop star Celeste. In their teenage years, she and her sister survived a small-town high-school shooting. They turned the tragedy into a song that gained global popularity. This launched Celeste to fame, but also to a career full of scandals. In the ruthless showbiz of today, the entertainment industry turns Celeste in both a monster and a victim at the same time. The victim aspect is additionally marked with her childhood tragedy. Years later, the violent incident in Croatia once again shakes up her life and her career, led by a merciless manager brilliantly played by Jude Law.
Vox Lux reminds of Black Swan, Portman’s earlier hit film that won her an Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Contributing to it is the choreography, directed in both films by the actress’s husband Benjamin Millepied. On the other hand, in Vox Lux, Portman herself performs the original songs written for the film by pop star Sia.
Natalie Portman, Jude Law and Sia also co-produced Vox Lux. Combining the biggest stars of today’s showbiz and criticism of it at the same time, the film smoothly balances on the edge between mainstream and indie film.
In a powerful way, Brady Corbet’s film breaks down the hidden layers of pop culture in which emotions and talent are replaced by vanity and ego trips. It also tackles the radical and violent changes in the post-Columbine and post-9/11 American society. It is a strange world we live in; as hard as we try to ignore the bad things around us, they always find a way to slip away, warns Celeste in the film.
Tickets for Vox Lux and other films can already be booked. The “All for 15” package, costing only HRK 150, includes 10 tickets for ten different screenings of your own choice and a possibility of free camping. It can be bought via KupiUlaznicu.hr online service. For those who do not know how to reach Motovun, there will be festival buses from Zagreb to Motovun. The price of a 10-ticket package with a one-way bus ticket is HRK 250. These are also available on KupiUlaznicu.hr. The tickets can be bought at this favorable price until 7 July or while stocks last.