French cinema’s most gifted enigma returns with his first feature since 1999 as writer-director Leos Carax sets free his imagination to deliver a day-in-the-life saga encompassing a spectrum of cinematic influences, all the while fiercely resisting categorisation.
After an intriguing, somewhat Lynchian prelude in which Carax himself wakes from a dream to enter a sepulchral cinema auditorium, we meet the magnificently rumpled Denis Lavant as the mysterious ‘Monsieur Oscar’, who’s chauffeured around Paris in a stretch limo for various appointments – each of which sees him donning disguise to inhabit different personalities and impact on the lives of those he encounters.
Carax keeps the surprises coming – the guest list includes Eva Mendes, Michel Piccoli and Kylie Minogue! – as the vignettes flit from fairy-tale to melodrama and outright surrealism. Is the whole thing a spiritual metaphor, or some comment on the de-personalisation of cinema by technology? One thing’s sure – you need to see it to be part of the discussion. (Notes by Trevor Johnston.)
French Film ClubJoin IFI French Film Club and avail of a special discounted ticket price of 7EUR for selected screenigns – simply leave your email address with Box Office staff. This month’s screening of Holy Motors on Tuesday, October 16th (18.30) will be introduced by Alliance Française Director Philippe Milloux.