Leos Carax - Pola X (1999)
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
A successful, carefree young writer, Pierre (Guillaume Depardieu), lives in an enormous, pristine chateau in Normandy with his adoring mother, who he calls Sister (Catherine Deneuve). He is engaged to be married to a lovely young woman who adores him, and he has just reunited with his cousin, whom he loves deeply. But Pierre is haunted by a vision in his dreams of a strange, dark-haired peasant woman who attracts him in unexplainable ways. When she suddenly appears, stumbling out of the woods and claiming that she is his long-lost sister, Isabelle (Katerina Golubeva), he falls blindly, madly in love with her. Tearing out of Normandy and heading for Paris, Pierre discredits everything in his life including his family, his friends, and his money. He takes Isabelle to an abandoned warehouse run by a cult, where they live together in deranged passionate misery.
POLA X, an intense, gripping, all-consuming film, is Leos Carax's (THE LOVERS ON THE BRIDGE) most simultaneously disturbing and beautiful movie. Based on the haunting novel by Herman Melville, PIERRE OR THE AMBIGUITIES, the film breaks down all the boundaries of familial love, then proceeds to do the same for the human psyche. Featuring lush photography that tricks the eye and taunts the mind, the filming is superb. As the story progresses and grows more complicated, the scenery changes from spacious green summer foliage to cold, cluttered, industrial structure. The sound is embracing, the acting is precise, and the feeling of the film is positively captivating.
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