Friday, March 29, 2013

HOLY MOTORS (2012) - Leos Carax


We are all just actors on life's stage, going from one odd gig to another. Some of them involve motion capture on a strange porno-action film hybrid. Some of them involve licking Eva Mendes' armpits. Some of them involve Kylie Minogue leaping to her death. Some of them involve murdering our own doppelganger and then being murdered by him. Some of them involve chimpanzees or talking limousines.

Whatever metaphor Carax is mining in Holy Motors, it's still mesmerizing a second time around. This may not be his best film (that honor still goes to Lovers on the Bridge), but it's definitely his most inventive, his most playful, his most melancholy. There's a "death of cinema" treatise lurking somewhere in here. You feel it most in Levant's wistful chat about invisible cameras in the limo with Michael Piccoli. But Carax is not an awful bore about it like many cineaste blowhards (myself included). He seems to be saying "Let's fuck with cinema, stretch it out, play with it like Silly Putty, see what we can get away with before it takes its last gasp."

Carax gets away with it. Even the talking cars. Maybe "Le Cinema est Mort," but he is making sure it goes out with a most interesting corpse.

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