Leos Carax

Movie Scene of 2012

Whether you loved it, hated it, or were scratching your head all the way through, Leos Carax’s Holy Motors is a memorable film. This disjointed, manic work is one of the most original and boundary-pushing movies of the year, avoiding anything resembling narrative coherence and conventional character development. It also features an amazing lead performance by Denis Lavant as a huge cast of unusual characters. While many moments in the film stand out – the motion capture sex scene, Eva Mendes’s abduction by Lavant’s sewer-dwelling goblin, Kylie Minogue’s touch of tragedy through song – perhaps the film’s most exhilarating moment was its musical intermission, in which Lavant leads a band through an old cathedral where they collectively rock out with their accordions out. Even amongst the FSR staff who weren’t as taken by this film as I was (his name rhymes with Rob Hunter), we mostly agreed that this scene stands out, even in a film (and a year of films) with many great scenes to choose from.

read more...

Holy Motors

Have you spent the past month or so hearing whispers about some movie called Holy Motors, and how someone you know has seen it at this festival or that, and how it’s probably the most amazing movie of all time, but you still haven’t really gotten a good idea of what it is or what it’s about? Then you’re in luck, because a trailer promoting the film’s U.S. release has just hit the net, and now we can all get a glimpse of what festival goers have been raving about. The latest film from French writer/director Leos Carax, Holy Motors is said to be about a day in the life of a character named Monsieur Oscar (Denis Lavant), a mysterious figure who is able to jump from one life to the next. That’s the gist of the official synopsis, at least. But it only takes a couple seconds of getting into this trailer to realize that Holy Motors is the sort of abstract, fantastical film that refuses to be adequately summed up with a synopsis.

read more...

There is a theory that Fellini’s La Dolce Vita is structured, quite schematically, like Dante’s Inferno. The idea is that this three hour film can be broken down into nine significant episodes, one for each of the layers of Hell. It doesn’t really work without ignoring some sequences and fudging the math, but no matter. Complicated and almost conspiratorial interpretations of movies will always abound; one need look no further than Shining conspiracy documentary Room 237, also playing this installment of the New York Film Festival. Yet sometimes a movie comes along that seems to dare the audience to come up with intricate analyses, to start cranking away even before the credits have rolled. Intentionally or otherwise, Leos Carax’s Holy Motors is one of those challenges.

read more...

Holy Motors

Four years ago avant garde filmmaker Leos Carax contributed his unique storytelling to the anthology picture Tokyo! and told of a strange, seemingly mythical-esque humanoid resembling that of a leprechaun just released from an extended stay in solitary confinement at Shawshank. Rising from random manholes and fixated up to hovering crows he proceeds to walk confidently through the streets of Tokyo, grabbing everything that can be bitten into and trotting over patrons because they were unfortunately on his way to the next manhole he wished to crawl back into. If Godzilla were a 5’4” red-head he’d act a lot like this. This character again appears in Carax’s new picture Holy Motors, only the creature doesn’t torture the patrons of Tokyo he appears on the streets of London; and just before he kidnaps Eva Mendes to take her down with him into the sewers and treat her like a lady (minus licking her armpit with a blood-stained tongue and eating her hair; but what gentleman wouldn’t do that?) he performs some highly acrobatic motion-capture for game developers only just after he turned himself into an old hunchbacked homeless woman asking for change on the side of the road. He does something else before that as well. He also does many things after as many different personalities.

read more...

Last year, I kicked off the FSR Cannes Awards by taking the opportunity to give three awards to The Artist (three of the Oscars it won actually, if you’re interested in just how much of a boss I am), and though there isn’t quite the same standout type of film at this year’s festival, there were some notable highlights. The rain was not one of them. This year, I saw 21 of the hundreds of films available to see, so these awards obviously only take in those that I deemed worthy of my attention (or which were possible to see given the intense mathematical equations required to see everything and write reviews of them all in timely enough fashion that all of the key information doesn’t bugger off out of your head). Here are my own highlights of the 65th annual Cannes Film Festival:

read more...

Holy Motors Movie Leos Carax

The question is, do you open the sack? Simon’s review from Cannes praises the positive brand of bat-shit insanity that Leos Carax‘s latest flick, Holy Motors, has going for it: “Really, the film is no more than a Kafkaesque short story idea, stretched out into a high-high-concept film that is baffling, infuriating and brilliant in equal measure. It will undoubtedly pick up five star reviews, and the only restraint on this review comes from my own refusal to cast off the conventional entertainment gauge: it’s hard to imagine anyone enjoying their popcorn when confronted with a naked man with an erection eating Eva Mendes‘s hair.” The trailer has a violent tone to it, a dangerous smoke that lingers, something felt but not always seen. There is an angry potential to it (hence the cat simile). Essentially, it feels like the kind of movie that dares you to see it. Check out the trailer for yourself, and get ready to scratch your head:

read more...

Holy Motors Leos Carax

Cannes films have a tendency to provoke reaction, with selections chosen for their impact more often than any conventionally commercial appeal, and as a result, responses from those who attend tend to polarize. In that context, it is no surprise that Leos Carax‘s weird and wonderful Holy Motors was chosen to screen In Competition, judging by the number of walk-outs and the final standing ovation. The film follows Mr. Oscar (Denis Lavant), an inexplicable figure who is driven around Paris in a stretch limousine by his chauffeur Celine (Edith Scob), fulfilling “assignments” around the city. The angle is that Mr. Oscar is an actor, and his assignments are characters, each requiring precise and preposterous costumes as he seeks the ultimate performance, in front of invisible characters for an unknown audience. As the film progresses, Mr. Oscar advances through his list of jobs – an old beggar woman, an assassin, a businessman, a father, a dying old man, a deranged, violent monster who eats flowers and kidnaps supermodels – committing himself entirely to the art of character. We are never afforded an insight to who he really is, how he came to be, or even whether there is any reality in any of the situations at all.

read more...

tokyo1

Paris, je t’aime and the upcoming New York, I Love You are two examples of anthology films, but nestled in between them is the new film, Tokyo! Two French directors and one Korean take turns telling stories that attempt to explain if the city defines it’s people or if the people define the city.

read more...

tokyo-header

Anthology films are always a mixed bag. It’s impossible to find one where each and every story shines, and invariably you’re stuck with sections of the films that you just don’t care about. The new film Tokyo! is hoping to change that perception.

read more...
Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Comic-Con 2014
Summer Box Office Prediction Challenge
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3