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.
It's like having a good philosophical conversation with a drunk person with terrible breath. Afterwards, you have some interesting ideas to think about, and you appreciated their unique way of saying things.
Though, during the conversation, the person kept getting distracted, and getting in your face way more than they needed to, and you just wanted them to make their point and back off so you could breathe again.
(But you did have fun when they decided to play accordion for a few minutes.)
Reto Cinéfilo 2015: Una película en versión original subtitulada grabada en un idioma diferente al tuyo (francés, inglés y chino).
Cuando dejé de buscarle el sentido fue cuando empecé a disfrutarla realmente.
I'm open to discussion as to what the hell was going on in this movie, but it was a bizarre and entertaining ride. Not right now though, as I'm about to munch on some flowers and play the accordion.
This film is pretty weird, and has garnered a lot of high praise. I'm left wondering whether everyone is just jumping on the bandwagon, liking it because it makes no sense and pretending there's some profound meaning in there.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it for sure. There were some really great sequences. But I felt like it was a lot of fun, and a lot of weirdness for the sake of the fun of weirdness.
I'm just skeptical of anyone who praises this with any serious emotional weight, is all.
I don't know.
I didn't like this movie because I was in a bad mood when I watched it and it's a pretty gloomy movie anyway. I didn't like having to guess at the symbolism and metaphor. Just not for me. Maybe if I watched it on a different day....
I'm sure it's a wonderful film. But it sucks.
I don't even know what to say about this movie but it was one of the best experiences I've had with film.
Surrealism at its best. Holy Motors is a film about many things, but mostly it follows the absurd life of the professional actor.
Some segments are funny or dramatic, but most of them are visually remarkable. And the final scene just wins you over.
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…