Carax. Leos Carax was born in 1960- the year of Godard’s Breathless and has been lauded as the heir apparent to Godard and the French New Wave since he came onto the scene in the mid 1980’s. He’s made only a total of five features since his debut in 1984. His strength for the purchases of this list is the utter rareness of his voice. These four archiveable films (have not been able to catch up to his debut Boy Meets Girl yet) are bold gambles – uncompromising. His weakness would be only a lone single film- The Lovers on the Bridge- lands in the top 100 of its respective decade.
Best film: The Lovers on the Bridge. Denis Lavant and Juliette Binoche – both do some of their very best work in Carax’s lush, expressionist, romance. The firework scene on the Pont Neuf Bridge along the river Seine stands out as one of the better sequences in 1990’s cinema—dazzling compositions.
total archiveable films: 4
top 100 films: 0
top 500 films: 0
top 100 films of the decade: 1 (The Lovers on the Bridge)
most overrated: Holy Motors is the sole film from 2012 on the TSPDT consensus top 1000. It is a challenging film. I’ve seen it twice, admire the hell out of its audacity – but find several films from 2012 to be superior.
most underrated : Nothing here. The Lovers on the Bridge is #553 on the TSPDT consensus list which is a good spot for it- I’d be very close to that. Mauvais Sang is #1101 and that’s a good spot I believe as well.
gem I want to spotlight : Mauvis Sang. Twenty-five year old Carax directing Binoche and Lavant with Bowie’s Modern Love, an untethered camera. It’s lyrical and moody- it’ll make you swoon, an intoxicating achievement of cinematic style.
- Heir to Godard, boy genius enfant terrible
- More poetry than prose
- Avant-garde, expressionistic compositions – blending reality and surrealism
- Collaborations with Denis Lavant (only Pola X doesn’t feature Lavant of the five films Carax has directed)
- Impressionistic, temperamental, lyrical and elliptical
- Doomed romances, disenchantment, anti-establishment
- The Lovers on the Bridge
- Mauvais Sang
- Holy Motors
- Pola X
By year and grades
|1986- Mauvais Sang||HR|
|1991- The Lovers on a Bridge||HR|
|1999- Pola X||R|
|2012- Holy Motors||HR|
*MP is Masterpiece- top 1-3 quality of the year film
MS is Must-see- top 5-6 quality of the year film
HR is Highly Recommend- top 10 quality of the year film
R is Recommend- outside the top 10 of the year quality film but still in the archives