Recently, I've become aware that certain films are able to transcend the medium by being completely self-assured in their atmospheres…
From dawn to dusk, a few hours in the shadowy life of a mystic man named Monsieur Oscar.
We follow 24 hours in the life of a being moving from life to life like a cold and solitary assassin moving from hit to hit. In each of these interwoven lives, the being possesses an entirely distinct identity: sometimes a man, sometimes a woman, sometimes youthful, sometimes old. By turns murderer, beggar, company chairman, monstrous creature, worker, family man.
Holy Motors, the critics darling of 2012, is as strange, befuddling and pretentious as the gushing reviews suggested it would be. Leos Carax’ first feature film in over a decade is a willfully odd odyssey; a picaresque story of cinema itself and an ode to performance. The committed, certifiable and chameleon-like Denis Lavant plays Mr. Oscar, a man who travels around Paris in a limousine transforming himself into a range of strikingly different characters for reasons left largely up to the audience to decide.
It is a film made for, and by, a particular type of film fan; one steeped in the history of film who enjoys partaking in a game of spot the movie reference. It’s an indulgent, self-satisfied…
To say that Holy Motors has been praised would be the understatement of the century. It has been discussed and interpreted more than probably any other movie this year. Furthermore, seemingly every major critic loves it. It has a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes, an 84 on Metacritic, and my boy Film Crit Hulk placed it at the very top of his 2012 list, ahead of Django Unchained, The Master, Looper, and several other terrific titles. However, there's something none of those critics will tell you, and I'm here to give it to you straight: the key to understanding Holy Motors is knowing that Holy Motors SUCKS.
Now, before you prejudge this as another Cosmopolis-style "Dear Fuckers" letter, hear me out,…
A film that, needless to say, has a number of correct subjective interpretations directly proportional to the amount of viewers that saw it with a high attention span and an open mind, in my humble opinion, can be more easily dissected if:
I. It is seen passively.
“I'd rather people feel a film before understanding it."
- Robert Bresson
“We think too much and feel too little."
- Charles Chaplin.
Some things do not have to make sense. The mind can reast peacefully at night if it was not capable of rationalizing all stimula in one day, even if it seems impossible to several people. Some things just deserve to be felt.
II. The "appointments" topic is taken as the…
Q1. Was this art over substance?
Q2. Was there a point?
Q3. What genre is it?
Q4. Did I like it?
Q5. Did I hate it?
A1-5. I honestly don't fucking know!
This almost feels like a surreal version of the Mediaeval play Everyman. In that play Everyman (representing Man) meets up with a host of allegorical characters representing Life. Through these encounters Everyman learns how to reach salvation, thus completing Life's circle.
If I proceed in this train if thought, Lavant's Oscar is all those allegorical characters rolled up into one creature, a physical manifestation of life, showing us, the Everyman, the state of affairs. And apparently Life is getting old. It is having great difficulty dealing with the rapid, shallow progress we are making and basically has increasing difficulty providing us with our overly demanding urges. Life's own cycle seems to be running towards its end, heading towards its own…
Thesis - The movie is an ode to the human body as the most cinematic of objects.
1. The old video that starts the film.
2. The scene trumpeting the humans performing mo cap over the final product itself.
3. An array of physically showy performances - ogre, beggar, killer, musician, singer, grumpy father.
The "Holy Motors" of the title and conclusion, then, is a metaphor for the engine that makes cinema hum - the human body. Carax asks that in our rush to the next cinematic object, we not fall out of love with the original cinematic object.
Mesmo cansando em seu terço final, o longa é extremamente interessante e envolvente.
This film is art.
It must be, because I enjoyed watching it, did not understand it at all and feel more sophisticated now for no real reason.
If you want me to take a wild guess what the story is about, I'd say ......
movies tend to be shit these days.
Or ... Hitler was evil.
If you don't know what something artsy is about, always say "Hitler was evil" when someone asks. That's a bullseye 9 out of 10 times.
Holy (and utterly pretentious and artsy) shit would be a more appropriate name TBH.
C'est bonkers. Denis Levant plays a man who assumes a number of disguises, including a motion capture suit, to interact with a group of people from his life. Kylie Minogue and Eva Mendes are unexpected co-stars. The title refers to the limousine that he uses. The finale takes place in a vacant former department store. Is this writer-director Leos Carax's take on the French film industry. Levant, Carax's favoured interpreter, is magnetic.
Literally for this film is difficult to make a critique. Technically is gorgeous, well acted, meticulously directed, beautifully scored and storywise, an idea that grabs the viewer from the very first minute.
Although, I am struggling to find a substance, an objection this film had initially..
Holy Motors is unorthodox, confrontational, esoteric, meandering, thought-provoking, and at times beautiful. It is less a film than it is visual performance art about performance art. It asks the question (perhaps not explicitly but rather contextually), "What is art?" At what point does performance art trespass into harassment? Certainly when there are unwitting participants, no? Is the protagonist here an artist or is he enslaved to the whims of his mysterious employers? Perhaps more simply, what the fuck is going on?!
I have very mixed feelings about this one. I applaud its ambition and singular vision, but I can't quite say that it worked for me. But then, is that not the great thing about art? Judgment lies in the eye of the beholder.
I have theories, but none of them have quite come together.
But it's beautiful, and it's funny, and it's sad, and sometimes that's enough.
And it's never boring.
This is one of the most strange and insanely bizarre pieces of cinema ever to put to screen. "Holy Motors" shifts focus from being an absurdest comedy, heavy drama, grand musical and many more genres that intertwine.
It's about performing and not revealing yourself but being different people and never really leaving the body of acting. Embracing and living with the act of performance. Be it with no audience or not, no camera to present oneself or stage to show up on. Actors are living in the moment with one another.
Beyond that it is about cinema and the insanely huge amount of references to the history of filmmaking and the art of acting. It makes reference to how motion…
BAFFLING. Do I hate it? No, I actually enjoyed it. But I'm not really sure if I liked it.
Many favorites, as well as a small handful of films that I don't care for... in no particular order (1960-2014).
Originally a list made prior to Cannes 2014, now updated every mid-April.
This is every Palme d'Or nominee since the…