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Critics reviews
Boy Meets Girl
Léos Carax France, 1984
Boy Meets Girlis in love with movies, and it conjures a movie world of inventively lo-fi density and dexterity. It’s also in love with textures and props and mysteries and anecdotes. This film could serve as the working definition of a sketchbook movie, as Carax appears to have thrown every idea he had at the time into it.
December 04, 2014
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Part of why this film works is the gentle glaze massaged into the black and white image. The soft effect powders the faces, without blemish: innocence blossoms. The camera moves gracefully, sometimes with much style, but never overdone.
August 09, 2014
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The movie is drawn out by the rich, dark shadows of its black-and-white images—deep pools in which the gaze finds no end—and the way Carax’s constant inventiveness lights up the peripheral action—nearly obscuring the central business of girl meeting boy—with a density of details including a woman driving to the mountains with her skis and ski poles poking through a hole in her windshield, and a man opening a giant empty fridge to kneel before it and cool off.
August 05, 2014
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…A debut feature of extraordinary passion and vigor… Carax is trying to articulate thoughts and feelings all his own, and Boy Meets Girl never quite feels derivative; rather the overall impression is of a film lover working through his affections to get to the originality beneath them. Though it isn’t yet fully formed, a faint glimmer of genius is perceptible throughout.
August 05, 2014
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When [Alex and Mireille] finally meet face-to-face at a socialite’s cocktail party—modeled after the one in the great Pierrot le Fou (1965) by Carax’s beloved Jean-Luc Godard—they truly seem like celestial bodies colliding in shared, melancholic ecstasy. Even as tragedy looms, this is a glorious spectacle to behold.
August 05, 2014
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A narrative consistently pitting ennui against displays of unguarded emotion, and one likewise framed around an array of stylistic nods to forefathers such as Godard, Truffaut, and Resnais, can’t help but end like all great romances which came before—that is, in tragedy.
August 04, 2014
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Breathless and Stranger than Paradise(released the same year) revel in the coolness of not giving a damn. Carax’s characters, however, assume these cool poses awkwardly and with little satisfaction, and their stumbling humanizes them and grounds the movie’s endless conceits down in tangibly earthly disappointment.
August 04, 2014
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Lucid, sardonic, cinemacentric asides (especially one great set piece involving an aged, hearing-impaired movie technician from the silent-film era) adorn their all-night tangle of intimacy, building to a grungy, furiously self-deprecating Liebestod. Ecstatic cinema and ecstatic living join together in a pressurized promise of glory and misery, a flameout waiting to happen—and to be filmed.
February 11, 2013
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If we disregard for a moment any surface resemblances to Godard (the Karina look-alike Mireille Perrier and her Band of Outsiders-esque tap dance, the naked, articulate dialogue, the delinquency motif), a closer spiritual precursor to Boy Meets Girl isn’t Breathless or The 400 Blows but rather Last Year at Marienbad, a film that never fit comfortably into the energetic, juvenile umbrella of the New Wave movement…
July 26, 2012
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As in a painting by Frank Auerbach one sees both the painter, complete in all of his greatness and shortcomings, and the history of painting, so in a movie by Carax one sees both the director and cinema itself. In short, an intense mind sick with love and images. The question: did Carax discover Lavant, or did he discover himself within Lavant?
May 21, 2010
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In its fervor, film sense, cutting humor, and strong autobiographical slant, it suggests the first films of the French New Wave (there’s something in the arrogant iconoclasm that specifically recalls Godard), yet this isn’t a derivative film. Carax demonstrates a very personal, subtly disorienting sense of space in his captivating black-and-white images, and the sound track has been constructed with an equally dense expressivity.
January 01, 1985
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Credit must go to Jean-Yves Escoffier’s astonishing black-and-white camerawork, and to the largely wordless, eloquent performances. Finally, however, the film’s greatest coup is its creation of a Parisian purgatory of lost souls, bathed eternally in night. Absurd humour counteracts the morbid philosophising, while the alternately surreal and expressionist imagery is reminiscent of silent cinema at its most elegant.
January 01, 1985
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