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Old 29-09-2012, 08:54   #1
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[Cinema Review] Holy Motors

Comments attached to the Cinema Review 'Holy Motors' on Film @ The Digital Fix

One of the most talked about films of the year finally arrives...

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Old 04-10-2012, 19:08   #2
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An excellent review - thanks Gavin.

I saw the film today, and am forced to wholeheartedly disagree with you. I found the film to be totally bewildering, but far from being audacious, I found it a tired, ill-concieved mess.

I have always loved 'alternative' cinema, and very much enjoy some of Carax's previous works. I particularly enjoy the cinema of subversion, or cinema that revels in the mechanics of filmmaking. Hence, films such as Godard's Une Femme Est Une Femme and Le Mépris are amongst my favourite films. Holy Motors had none of those films' sophistication, and had absolutely nothing to say about anything, other than a quick, totally fatuous and pubescent dig at 'bankers', which seems de rigueur in recent so-called 'intellectual' cinema (Cosmopolis, Killing Them Softly et al).

As the film clumsily lurched from one extremely tedious segment to the next, I was increasingly amazing by the complete lack of point to it all. Some sequences displayed very brief flashes of visual ingenuity (the motion-capture dance between Lavant and the female for instance), but it all added up to, well, nothing at all. The sequences reminded me of various half-baked student films that had been stitched together for a end-of-term best-of reel.

Carax also displays a very, very dated sense of what foreign audiences will find 'charming' about French films. There are lots of moments of total absurdity that seem to exist solely for certain sections of the audience to coo at. For those of us that find the Amélie school of filmmaking grating and embarrassing, these sequences offer only scene-after-scene of uncomfortable viewing. As a result, there were many scenes that I found condescending and patronising.

The use of Kylie Minogue also seemed curiously dated. The subtle-as-a-brick use of one of her older songs in a different segment only serves to highlight this strange sense of it all being a bit late.

The seemingly irrelevant flashes of adult images (some of the aforementioned dance, Lavant's 'accessory' during the Beauty & The Beast segment, the bursts of violence) seem to belong in a different film to talking cars. Also, the inclusion of chimps seems like a very cheap, easy way of generating a laugh from the audience (albeit in a 'YouTube zaniness' sort of way), and is yet another of Carax's tactics that feels cheap and condescending.

For me, Holy Motors epitomises the very worst excesses of certain forms of Art-House cinema. It's total refusal to connect with its audience (indeed, the idea of audience-connection seems totally abhorrent to Carax) is at the heart of the problem, but it is also ludicrously self-important, ultimately vapid and completely lacking in any form of entertainment-value whatsoever.

If my comments above seem disjointed, it's simply because I'm genuinely hugely frustrated and angry about one of my worst cinema-experiences in recent memory. I certainly don't think my thoughts are any more disjointed than the film they discuss.

Thank you again for your review Gary - it's always very interesting to read an opinion totally contrary to one's own, and you certainly gave me a lot to think about.

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Old 04-10-2012, 19:18   #3
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Originally posted by WJBThank you again for your review Gary
Sorry - I mean Gavin!
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