Tim Cooper on
August 23rd, 2012
a film directed by
Denis Lavant, Edith Scob, Eva Mendes and Kylie
Motors is the
latest film from French director
Leos Carax and it is a bizarre artistic work bound to get the critics
It performed well at Cannes and will be discussed feverishly by film
and equally hated by many more. It is a directors piece and unforgiving
abstract construction. This film must be taken in and processed by the
not just watched. With this in mind I will attempt to present a few
proposed understandings into this offbeat underworld of death and love.
(Denis Lavant) is an ethereal messenger. You could say he is in essence
deliver of bleak human consequence. Every night he is chauffeured
city of Paris to each job or encounter, by his rigid but caring
Celine (Edith Scob). Their vehicle of transport is a slender white
fitted out with everything Oscar needs to become the subject of his
“contract” handed to him by his “agency”.
setting may seem preposterous or perhaps even ridiculous, when the film
up it proves to be an imaginative and perfect setting for the absurdity
pulsates throughout this vibrant work. Believability in any
heightened situation can always be difficult for an actor. To be “in”
situation and to act with conviction, sincerity is paramount for any
succeed. Being an abstract work, Holy
Motors has many extreme moments that could spin the project right
rails. It is through the actor’s sincerity and the quieter moments they
that keeps this film flowing from one sensational moment to the next.
small roles from names like Kylie Minogue, Eva Mendes and Carax
himself, but it
is Lavant and Scob that hold the movie together. Lavant plays many
forms in the
film and he excels at all of them. Scob manages to show a range of
with minimal dialogue and infinite poise. It is a complete joy to watch
two interact as they drive through the beautifully shot Parisian
tumultuous and violent world they live in is broken up by these
moments. Carax also directs these interactions carefully without the
of unnecessary dialogue. French cinema has a very rich history of
cinematography and Caroline Champetier adds another fine piece of work
legacy. Her lens work is elegant and a delight to take in. Her work not
adds to beauty of the film, it compliments the varying production
required to tell such an unconventional story.
Motors is a
film soaked in the very extreme of
human emotions. Critics will relish the chance to interpret the imagery
situations of this film in many varying ways. In the end, they could
wrong. Abstract cannot be reviewed. It
cannot be contained or understood on any one level.
The image and its emotional translation will
forever remain in the eye of the beholder. Carax knows this and
fact. He makes movies he likes, not what you necessarily want to see.
viewers experience will change with each set of eyes and if you allow
themes and imagery will resonate with you for some time. This film is a
celebration of the weird and wonderful human heart, told within the
of something almost as erratic. Holy
Motors is unsettling, touching and beautifully ridiculous.