What the hell is Holy Motors (2012, Artificial Eye, 18) all about? Leos Carax's first feature film for more than a decade (following the commercial failure of Pola X) is a breathtakingly barking affair involving chimpanzees, aliens, computer graphics, talking limousines, false noses, Kylie Minogue channelling Jean Seberg and Eva Mendes being kidnapped by a familiar troll named Merde. "It's so weird!" breathes an incidental character ecstatically, and he's not kidding.
At the centre of it all is the mesmerising Denis Lavant, a fiery angel and existential artist who travels from location to location adopting quixotic personas (twisted beggar woman, scarred hitman, dying uncle, angry father) and performing real-life vignettes amid the great circus of screen life. From the earliest chronophotographic images of bodies in motion to virtual sex in mo-cap suits, Carax hurtles helter skelter through an urgent history of cinema,