There are few living directors as polarizing in their pull-no-punches approach to filmmaking as Carlos Reygadas, whose films—grand mixtures of political/philosophical provocation and abstruse imagery—are usually met with enthusiastic praise and, more often, embittered confusion. Reygadas, who worked as a lawyer before finding his way to directing, finds beauty in humanity’s darkest corners, drawing inspiration from Fassbinder and Bresson to explore heavy themes of race, class division, religion, and man’s adversity. The director is also mining, in thrilling ways, the possibilities of cinema in materializing one’s innermost obsessions and passions—most notably in last year’s brilliant Post Tenebras Lux which contained scenes replicated straight from the dreams of its maker.

In the video embedded above, the typically-verbose Reygadas speaks on his esoteric worldview and how his routinely misunderstood work takes shape.