We follow 24 hours in the life of a being (DL) moving from life to life like a cold and solitary assassin moving from hit to hit. In each of these interwoven lives, the being possesses an entirely distinct identity: sometimes a man, sometimes a woman, sometimes youthful, sometimes old to the point of dying; sometimes destitute, sometimes wealthy. By turns murderer, beggar, company chairman, monstrous creature, worker, family man…
It’s clear that DL is playing roles, and plunging headfirst into each – but where are the cameras, the crew, the director? He seems horribly alone, exhausted from being chained to all these lives that are not his, from having to kill enemies that are not his enemies, having to embrace wives and children who are not his. But sometimes, conversely, we feel DL is wounded by having to leave, the moment his scene is over, other beings he would have liked to leave no longer.
Where is his home, his family, his rest? –Wild Bunch
An unpredictable French filmmaker whose poetic style earned him a critically sound reputation on the heels of his debut feature, Boy Meets Girl (1984), Leos Carax has since gone on to explore the tortured ramifications of love in the modern world with such features as Lovers on the Bridge (1991) and the controversial Pola X. A native of Suresnes who was born to an American mother and a French father, Alexandre Oscar Dupont (his professional name an anagram of his first and middle names) directed a series of short films and dabbled in cinema criticism before putting his celluloid where his mouth is with his debut feature, Boy Meets Girl. A dramatic exploration of modern love, the film provided undeniable proof of Carax’s already assured, mature visual style and proved the first teaming of the director and his cinematic alter ego, Denis Lavant. In addition, Boy Meets Girl also found Carax forming a long working relationship with renowned cinematographer Jean-Yves Escoffier, a partnership… read more
Holy Motors is first and foremost a love letter to Yekaterina Golubeva, Carax's lover, mother of his daughter, a gifted actress, and a (likely) suicide. The couple's daughter, Nastya, plays Levant's daughter in the film's most emotionally direct -- and lacerating -- scene. HM's inscrutability has been, I think, weirdly exaggerated. While picaresque and wildly imaginative, it is thematically pretty straightforward. All the world's a screen, and so is each of us, forming a perpetual motion machine (a holy motor, ok?) of interlocking masks and mirrors, even as technology refines and to some extent redefines the process and our sense of ourselves within it. Carax effects a fluid transit from animation to animism, and his lovers – ectoplasm on wheels – are always on the bridge.
A look at Léos Carax’s The Lovers on the Bridge and the poetics it shares with the literature of Louis-Ferdinand Céline.
LOLA releases new content, Apichatpong’s mini-short “2013”, images from the new Hong Sang-soo, a visit to Hou Hsaio-hsien on set.
In our annual poll, we pair our favorite new films of 2012 with older films seen in the same year to create fantastic double features.
A look at live-sung musical numbers, past and present.
Adrian Curry’s annual round-up of his favorite film posters of the year.
Film Comment’s best of the year, Raya Martin & Mark Peranson in Mexico, James Gray on American cinema, and an unexpected Guillaume sighting.
The French film journal has unveiled their choices for the best films of the year.
Decoding the dharma of Denis Lavant’s cosmic ascent to The Real World.
Our annual round-up of all the posters for the main slate of the New York Film Festival.
This week: two major film magazines unveil their new issues, Adam Nayman reveals why Jaws is the “greatest movie ever made”, and more…
The first of an aborted Festival de Cannes project of handing out sheets of paper to attendees and asking for immediate reactions to films.
The festival arrives at a close, with films in competition from David Cronenberg, Sergei Loznitsa, Im Sang-soo, and Jeff Nichols.
Three standous: a school musical brawl film by Miike, an episodic, shapeshifting nightcrawl by Carax, and fragments of grief from Rosales.
Léos Carax’s long-awaited return to Cannes is a loud one, and Carlos Reygadas’ Post Tenabras Lux sounds like a divisive highlight.
Cronenberg, Resnais, Carax, Hong, Kiarostami, Reygadas, Wakamatsu, Miike…
The French magazine places odds on over 30 titles: Will they make the Cannes 2012 lineup?
Also: Even as the 2011 lists keep coming, we’ve begun to look ahead to 2012.
I wrote the following note on the FB page for the art theater I run after reports of patrons leaving the theater confused – &, importantly – unhappy about that confusion.
OK… read review
The criticism I’m hearing most about “Holy Motors” is that it’s about nothing. That it means nothing. That they – the unhappy viewer – needs more from their movies than random events strewn together… read review
Where do we go when we do not have to be ourselves? In our daily lives, we are surrounded by the faces of others, our visage thusly reflecting those of an external nature. We slip in and out of masks… read review
Why is it that many of the most gifted film makers also happen to be the ones who rarely make films? I’m thinking of Terrence Malick, the Salinger of American movies, or the enfant terrible of indie… read review