In the pantheon of debut's it's strong, but also always feels like one. Clearly in love with the possibility of cinema, it plays as an homage to boy meets girl before spiraling into deconstruction, a pop song that becomes a philosophy lesson. Staggeringly stylish with gorgeous photography, it's too rife with the affectation of youthful seriousness, but the talent is evident.
Even as the plot wallows in melancholy, heartbreak, sad memories and lonelyhearts on parade, the movie is a visceral treat, a tone poem framed in portrait-like black and white that moves to its own mysterious rhythm. It is alive with the feeling of young love, even as Alex and Mereille march down the road to tragedy. Carax follows his own muse, with his constant fades to black and intercut dissolves. Haunting.