Friday, March 22, 2013

TOKYO! ("MERDE" SEGMENT, 2008) -
Leos Carax


What a relief after the two-hour test of patience that was Pola X to get a little jolt of that Carax-Lavant magic again in the shorts anthology Tokyo! Here, Lavant plays the same one-eyed, sewer-dwelling troll Carax later resurrected in Holy Motors to steal away with Eva Mendes. Once street-side, Merde has a thing for eating stolen flowers, hard cash, smoking stolen cigarettes, licking random armpits (of course), throwing grenades. On trial for killing lots of Japanese citizens with said grenades, he speaks in a made-up language interpreted through a French lawyer, tells the entirely Japanese courtroom that their eyes remind him of "a woman's sex parts." Then he's hanged. Then he disappears, possibly to show up again in New York, as per the end credit sting.

What fun! Basically, Carax's "Merde" segment is a Godzilla movie in miniature. Lavant is his little green lizard set loose and barefoot to wreak havoc in the Tokyo streets. It's also Carax's playful comment on our modern-day terrorist culture, but I might be stretching there. Lavant's Merde may not be THAT kind of terrorist, but you certainly wouldn't want him aboard your plane. Or in your sewers. Or licking your armpits.

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