An erotically charged descent into madness.
A writer leaves his upper-class life and journeys with a woman claiming to be his sister, and her two friends.
A writer leaves his upper-class life and journeys with a woman claiming to be his sister, and her two friends.
Pierre ou Les Ambiguïtés
A manifesto about self-destruction and the film announces it since the beginning; existentialist pessimism through conformism and irresponsible improvisation through voracious impulses. Carax's aesthetic approach is more sombre than poetic and makes a razor-sharp outline of disturbed characters that represent faces attached more to memories, fears and nightmares than to their own bodies. The body is just a receptacle of temporary carnal escapism. In spite of some melodramatic clashes, the film works wonders in the psychological minimalism department even if it sacrifices a great portion of the literary angle which could make even some more interesting discourses explode.
Normally when Carax rows merrily down the gentle stream he has the lawless custom of throwing hand grenades into the water to "shake things up a bit", but on this fateful day in 1999 he lays with a calm sedated demeanor, his feet glide lackadaisically in the passing water and his well-worn straw hat covers the half of his face that gives him the ability of sight, and, after much deliberation, he decides that the fish hiding under their rocks in the stream deserve to live another day. There is always tomorrow, he muses to nobody in particular. He is a soft spoken midnight radio show host who only drinks decaf (thank you very much) and thinks that, well, people…
First hour is perfection, with every shot—from that destabilizing opening—connecting intuitively, just beyond articulation. A film of ever-shifting pairs and trios (father-mother-son; Pierre-Lucie-Thibault, the "three inseparables"; Pierre-Lucie-Isabelle; etc) with each relationship erotically charged, the general look and feel, that of a fairy-tale. Takes the artist-in-search-of-the-Truth cliché and transforms it with a feral energy, a kind of excessive madness and an intense physicality, a desire to "push beyond all this"—the standouts: the motorcycle crash; the (unsimulated?) sex scene. As expected of a film about Truth, filled with maskings (a shirt pulled over during love-making; an ethereal veil; a crucial pseudonym), with unmasking leading to a kind of madness. Eventually moves into more intermittent, scattered brilliance—the Dionysian revel at Thibault's; the industrial-orchestral…
The only thing scarier than living within the stultifying rules of society is breaking from them.
no thank you !!
promising first half hour. intriguing ~possibly incestuous~ relationship set up between pierre and his sister (catherine deneuve, luv u always) and lovely images akin to surrealist paintings (the mirror reflection of pierre kissing lucie with the sweater over her head is very dali’s autumnal cannibalism and that shot of her getting her wedding dress fitted is strange and breathtaking). and then the film soon goes veeeeeery downhill from here — and full blown incestuous with pierre’s other sister isabelle. minus a few cool rock n roll moments, I found this ~actively unpleasant~. and i usually have quite an appetite for these fucked up 80s/90s french thrillers. bleh. still love leos carax though.
Definitely still the most batshit insane piece of cinema with god-level location scouting not named POSSESSION. Definitely the most audacious literary adaptation of the past twenty years alongside BEAU TRAVAIL – also French/Melville (can we get that Lynne Ramsay MOBY DICK-in-space joint already?!). Definitely beyond excessive and self-indulgent. Definitely infuriating, overlong, inconsistent and borderline unwatchable. Definitely nihilistic, mean, cynical and ice cold. Definitely the most miserable, thoroughly unenjoyable and oppressive film I can remember. Definitely can understand why any producer wouldn't be caught dead giving this madman a cent for the rest of his career. And yet definitely beguiling, indelible, and idiosyncratic. Undisciplined, instinctive, unhinged stuff like this needs to exist.
The best, most expensive student film ever made? I think Leos should have been a painter. His sensibilities are most definitely that of a stereotypical French painter. French Gothic is quite the insidious aesthetic, and POLA X might be the Frenchest thing ever made.
As a follow-up to his "The Lovers on the Bridge," Leos Carax's "Pola X" feels like a victory lap. Where "Lovers" was relatively straightforward and targeted at a broad audience, this film is clearly the personal labor of love for a writer/director given the artistic freedom to chase his muse wherever it leads. For a filmmaker as sui generis as Carax, this means that the film heads to some particularly strange places. Though not as good as "Lovers," it is still the unique vision of a director whom I believe made exactly the movie that he wanted to make.
Based on Herman Melville's "Pierre" (a follow-up to…
Do you have to go crazy to create art, and would anyone appreciate it if you did?
Full Metal Melville
Carax takes on Herman Melville and the result is very intriguing albeit slightly lost in its conviction.
Without no knowledge of Melville's novel in which this film is based, I was still able to become engaged in the film's story. Carax nearly separates the film into two distinct halves to the point that the second half has abandoned and lost all previous form that was present in the first half. The character's motivations especially for the film's midway turning point does not make alot of sense but it is the way in which Melville applies to his own characters in the novel (although in novelization I'm sure it was easier for Melville to convey the protagonist's feelings for abandoning his…
Be sure to watch this original and not the ill-advised Tom Hanks US remake.
I really love the fact that the most genuinely angsty movie of all time was made by a 39 year old
Anyway it's official - next time I come to the Metrograph I'm bringing batteries to throw at the degenerates who just come there to giggle at nothing
Regardless of the few bad apples in the audience, seeing this projected and with actually good picture quality has spoiled me - fuck the mediocre DVD, this felt like a whole new movie
I really found myself looking up to Depardieu fils. Not his character, just *him* at the beginning of this shit, and only then because I feel like myself at peak attractiveness would kind of look like him
Yes to hard dick and Deneuve crying on a motorcycle, No to pretty much everything else.
Despite its dabbling in sexual taboos, it lacks the experimental thrust of energy present in every other Carax film. For being part of the French extremity and even having X in the title, Pola X is not that extreme. Instead, it is a film of subtleties and ambiguities (unambiguously like the namesake of its source material). The film is undoubtably striking in the beauty and horror found in nearly every shot as it transitions with a steady ease from pastoral beauty to sombre squalor. The soundtrack done by Scott Walker, Sonic Youth, and Bill Callahan is another one of many big highlights of the film that is actually quite understated. Carax's number one collaborator Denis Levant is sorely missing in…
Acho bem interessante como filme estende uma trama que parece ser bem simples e fácil de resolver. Muito por conta do surrealismo e experimentalismo teatral nas atuações e na decisões do roteiro. Porque a história em si, possui atos bem reais e conversam com a realidade, a estranheza vem da representação. É a fuga para um destino incerto, o retorno da amante, o sexo explícito com a suposta irmã e a briga com o primo.
Os personagens são parte da classe média e seu contato com os mais abastados os transformam. Há ainda um comentário sobre a memória da guerra, o ínicio com as bombas em cima do cemitério conversa diretamente com a história da irmã, uma estrangeira encontrando seu presente.
First time watching this (finally!) the experimentally curious and I guess potentially bastardized picture of Carax. So now I’m feeling overwhelmed and somewhat travel-worn ya know existentially and intellectually speaking but no doubt I shall eventually return to this (hopefully again and again) because Carax really is one of the contemporary masters at providing exploratory fuel to the hearts and minds of basically anyone with an interest in cinema. This is not at all a well rounded and easily structured film experience and I’m absolutely glad it isn’t.
Second viewing, last seen at NYFF '99 (where it was one of half a dozen films that I never got around to writing up—my sole note was "What is with all of the tedious French lit adaptations this year?", which I guess also referred to Beau travail and Time Regained). Knowing in advance that it's based on Melville, I failed to perceive then just how much it echoes The Lovers on the Bridge, what with Pierre and Isabelle winding up all but homeless in a self-destructive fervor, frequently accompanied by a largely silent third party (stalked by death) with whom the less privileged of the two has formed a close bond. But Pola X, despite its one explicit sex…
The one thing you can guarantee from Leos Carax is that you will not be bored. The dividing line between provocatively boundary pushing and insufferably pretentious is a fine one and it split the Tuesday movie night crew last night 3-2. While I can’t pretend that it all made coherent sense (it is Carax after all), I definitely want to watch it again at some stage so used my casting vote to give it a tick.
It sounds like Carax and Herman Melville would have been great mates. When Moby Dick was met with dismissive reviews from American critics (it fared better in the UK) Melville’s response was a massive “up yours” with the publication of Pierre; or, The Ambiguities in…
WOW!!! It is truly an underrated masterpiece, Thank you Carax!
Stylish, but bereft of anything approaching an interesting idea. Watch Holy Motors again, instead.
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Carax making a film for the French extremity movement certainly interested me to say the least and this delivered. It's got the on edge feeling of Abre Los Ojos while also it's visceral nightmarish sensibility but more intone with Carax's tortured representation of love that is strained beyond shape here. It's neither sweet nor a fun ride, it's slow while the protagonist attempts to escape the tedium through sex, leaving his former life and trying to start a new one but it's to no avail. Obsession ultimately takes more than it drives an individual mindset forward. Tough first hour but it does pick up really well.
rich people are boring, and so was this movie
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