Holy Motors (2012) Film Review

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From director Leos Carax (whose work was featured at 2013 MIFF, including Mauvis Sang), Holy Motors is a confusing film that follows one man on a mysterious day’s work. M. Oscar (Denis Lavant) has a job that takes him to a variety of appointments in a stretch limousine. Between appointments, he makes himself up into a different character with elaborate make-up and costume. Then, arriving at the location, he acts out a scenario. It is not clear who he is doing this for, although there is a mention of hidden cameras at one point. The scenarios vary from homely to violent to sexual, often shocking in the violence or graphic nature of the scenes.

Overall, this one was not for me. There is absolutely no doubt that it was a beautifully shot film and extremely well acted (especially Denis Lavant who is totally amazing throughout). But for me, it was too much shock and not enough story. I very much think this comes down to state of mind; like Tree of Life, beauty was not enough to save this for me. However, I can see that it is an extremely good film and that there will people many, many people who will love it unconditionally. My favourite part without a doubt was the intermission. Marvellous.

 

Mauvis Sang (Bad Blood) (1986) MIFF Film Review

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Marc and Hans contact Alex, the son of an old criminal colleague, to come in on a job to steal a new vaccination from a pharmaceutical company. Selling this will cover their debt to the American woman and make them all rich. It’s amazing to think that this complex story is not even the focus of the film. When Alex meets Anne, Marc’s much younger girlfriend, sparks fly. The film beautifully follows their playful love for each other as they work with the others to plan the crime.

The sets are very stylised, almost cartoonish, with lots of greys, blacks and whites interrupted by bright reds and blues. It is gorgeous to watch – almost like a very long but beautiful video clip.

Featuring Juliet Binoche, Julie Delpy and Denis Lavant, Mauvais Sang (Bad Blood) is a beautiful, classic work that you would not regret watching several times.