Paris by night. Alex, 22, wants to become a filmmaker. He is fascinated by first times and his girlfriend, Florence, has just left him for his best friend, Thomas. First break-up, first ... See full summary »
A man meets a woman in a bar, the two go back to her flat and begin watching porno films. The man passes out and wakes to find himself strapped to a dentist chair. The woman, along with her... See full summary »
Marc (Michel Piccoli) recruits Alex (Denis Lavant), son of his former, now dead colleague. Alex is a card shark with a big dream to go out to the world and leave his own mark. His ... See full summary »
The image of a mysterious, solitary filmmaker - a cineaste maudit - who flees from both the media and the public, is unrelentingly bound to the figure of Leos Carax, in France. Elsewhere, ... See full summary »
Mehdi Belhaj Kacem,
In 1997, for it's fiftieth anniversary, the Cannes Film Festival asked Leos Carax for a short film, a kind of postcard addressed to the festival, in which the director would give news of himself and of his film project "Pola X".
Paris by night. Alex, 22, wants to become a filmmaker. He is fascinated by first times and his girlfriend, Florence, has just left him for his best friend, Thomas. First break-up, first attempted murder: Alex tries to strangle Thomas, but gives up and wanders the streets. That evening, Mireille, a girl from provincial France who has come up to Paris to make commercials, is left by her boyfriend. Alex witnesses this separation. These two tormented souls run into each other at a party....
Leos Carax made his own stamp of filmic storytelling in Black and White with fascinating use of light and framing of imagery. Can't forget the frame with the 4-pane window shadow in a room with sparse furniture - so simply captured that the mood and tone is instantly felt. It's practically a piece of art just looking at that frame in that moment in time: before Alex opens the door coming in, and once again when he leaves us to this arresting image on screen.
Carax's style of telling his dramatic stories does border on melodramatic touches. This 1984 "Boy Meets Girl", his first feature film, showed us his poignant understanding of the younger set in love. The emotional entanglements and angst - struggling to be loved by the one you want the love from and disappointment awaits. Such a common premise is dealt in an uncommon insightful depiction, with graphically framed imageries. The ending demonstrates his use of subtle yet telling visual approach, letting the audience know what's really going on without words uttered. Come to think of it, that's how he ended his films - the strength of soundless or non-dialog scenes tells it all impressively.
It's certainly not your usual teen angst movie - Carax's films are not simple by any means. Emotional layers, love in conflict and flight are ever present. Regular street scenes and night shots by the river with lighted bridge afar are his common backdrops. Discourses on love and relationships you will find. If you like to go steps further and really plunge into French conversations of love, sex, and relationships, try Jean Eustache's 1973 "The Mother and the Whore" (La Maman et la putain; NFE = not for everyone), also shot in B/W. Let Jean-Pierre Leaud's Alexandre lead you through the 3 hrs. 30 mins. verbal journey, with Bernadette Lafont as Marie "la maman", and Francoise Lebrun as Veronika "la putain".
17 of 19 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?