Pierre (Guillaume Depardieu) lives in a glorious chateau with his mother Marie (Catherine Deneuve), with whom he has an undefined but curiously incestuous relationship. They both revere the memory of Pierre’s father, a famous diplomat who has an undefined but curious relationship to atrocities in WW2. Pierre is not only rich, he is also a celebrated author (under a pen name) of a book that has ‘inspired his generation. He commutes daily to another glorious chateau to make love to his delicate, sweet fiancee Lucie (Delphine Chuillot). Together they share an undefined but curiously ambisexual relationship with his moody cousin Thibault (Laurent Lucas). This eden of privilege is shattered when a mysterious vagrant woman, previsioned by Pierre in weird dreams, begins haunting him in the woods and in town. When he finally confronts her, she claims to be Isabelle (Yekaterina Golubyova), his sister, unacknowledged by the controlling Marie. Pierre has a lifestyle crisis. He smashes into a walled room upstairs hoping to get the goods on his father, but finds nothing. Abandoning his home, his fiancee, his mother and his inheritance, he takes Isabelle and her two war – refugee companions into an underground lifestyle of poverty while he tries to write a meaningful follow-up novel about squalor and lies – the real truth of his times. That’s when things get even weirder. —DVDtalk.com
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
"Je ne sais pas ... qui je suis." Pierre's every love is ambiguous; indeed, his life is nothing but his loves and their ambiguities, each of them charged and threatened by the rupture and instantly-receding rapture of the erotic. Carax gives us a blood-rushingly overripe rendition of Melville's maddening complex of identities in collision, a film about as faithful in its silliness as it is in its symphonic discord.
After adoring Holy Motors, and to a lesser extent, les amants du pont-neuf, I was quite let down by Pola X. It's first half is quite mesmerizing, but it descends into pretension and cartoonish misery far too quickly and easily. My suspicion is that, as Carax has alluded to, he is far too close to and reverent of the source novel. I will hold off on a final verdict until I get a chance to read the Melville novel.
A propulsive survey of scores focusing on the thriller: procedurals, bank heists, neo-noirs, spy films, giallos, and sci-fi mind-games.