Sunday, 6 January 2013

Holy Motors, dir/wr. Leos Carax, st, Denis Lavant, Édith Scob, Eva Mendes, Kylie Minogue

There is an overwhelming kineticism to Denis Lavant's pseudo-clowning performances that is exhilarating to watch. Like the best performers, be they artists, musicians, dancers, actors or even sportspersons, there is a will to slow down their art and saviour it in all its minute, glorious detail. Longtime collaborator Leos Carax's esoteric, offbeat film has Lavant cast as Mr. Oscar, a kind of transitory Time Lord, who travels from location - or 'appointment' - to location in an o'er-stuffed limousine that resembles a post-hurricaine RSC costume store, chock full of theatrical apparati. Upon arrival, Oscar, having conscientiously applied make-up and costume, is let out to 'inhabit' the character within an unsuspecting environment, people for whom the world continues as ever. To say much more about the individual scenarios would rob one of the disconcerting effect one experiences of having the crutch of cinematic convention unavailable. Holy Motors is, yes, totally unlike anything you may have seen before, and most definitely completely nuts. But curiously for a film that so drastically departs from traditional narrative, it's the more poignant moments that will end up staying with you, and the movie as a whole, surely benefits from repeated viewings. Holy Motors might even end up having something rather profound to say on the nature of routine and the transience of our everyday lives - much more than any other film in 2012 you thought might.