Holy Motors

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“Crazy, beautiful and unbelievably strange… Supremely perplexing, occasionally miraculous, always memorable.” — Eric Kohn, indieWIRE

Director: Léos Carax
Year: 2012
Country: France, Germany
Running time: 115 mins
Censor Rating: R16 - violence, offensive language, sexual themes

Screenplay: Leos Carax
Producers: Martine Marignac, Maurice Tinchant, Albert Prevost
Photography: Caroline Champetier, Yves Cape
Editor: Nelly Quettier
Production designer: Florian Sanson
Costume designer: Anaïs Romand Afcca
Sound: Erwan Kerzanet, Katia Boutin, Josefina Rodriguez, Emmanuel Croset
Music: Neil Hannon
In French and English, with English subtitles
Colour and B&W

With: Denis Lavant (Monsieur Oscar/banker/beggar woman/motion capture specialist/Monsieur Merde/the father/the accordionist/the killer/the victim/the dying man/the man in the house), Édith Scob (Céline), Eva Mendes (Kay M.), Kylie Minogue (Eva/Jean), Élise Lhomeau (Léa/Élise), Michel Piccoli (the man with the birthmark), Jeanne Disson (Angèle)

Festivals: Cannes (In Competition) 2012

The Festival closes with a roar – and a soaring, heart-breaking song from Kylie Minogue. Don’t miss the sensation of this year’s Cannes Film Festival, rapturously received, wildly debated and conspicuously unrewarded when the prizes were handed out.

“Leos Carax’s Holy Motors is weird and wonderful, rich and strange – barking mad, in fact… Really this is what we have all come to Cannes for: for something different, experimental, a tilting at windmills, a great big pole-vault over the barrier of normality by someone who feels that the possibilities of cinema have not been exhausted by conventional realist drama. Some may find it affected or exasperating; I found it weightless and euphoric.

Holy Motors is a mysterious odyssey through the streets of an eerie, beautiful Paris which will often digitally morph into somewhere from a different planet entirely. Denis Lavant plays Monsieur Oscar, a strange figure who is chauffeured around in a white stretch limo by Céline (Édith Scob); he has a fully equipped theatrical dressing room in the back of the car, and prepares for a series of [eleven] ‘appointments’ by getting into various elaborate and deeply preposterous disguises…

There is something of David Lynch here, a little of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, of Gaspar Noé’s Kubrickian head-trips. There’s a mulch of Kafka, JG Ballard, Aldous Huxley and Lewis Carroll… And what the heck does it all mean?… Perhaps it is a bravura exercise in pure imagination. Well, it’s funny, it’s freaky: a butterfly that breaks the wheel of convention.” — Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

NZIFF STAFF PICK: Rebecca McMillan, Bill Gosden, Michael McDonnell, Josh Thomas, Brooke Hawe

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