“Weird… weird.. weird! He’s so weird!”–delighted fashion photographer at his first glimpse of Merde
DIRECTED BY: Leos Carax
FEATURING: Denis Lavant, Edith Scob, Eva Mendes, Kylie Minogue, Michel Piccoli, Leos Carax
PLOT: A man wakes up and walks through a secret panel in his bedroom wall that leads him into a cinema. Next we meet “Mr. Oscar,”who drives around Paris in a limousine taking on nine “assignments” which require him to become an accordion player, a hitman, and fashion model-abducting leprechaun, among other personae. After Mr. Oscar’s night is over, his chauffeur drives the limo back to a huge car lot labeled “Holy Motors,” where hundreds of similar vehicles are stored.
- Holy Motors was Leos Carax’ first feature film since 1999’s Pola X.
- Leos Carax is a pseudonym for Alexandre Oscar Dupont. In most of Carax’ other movies, Denis Lavant plays a lead character named “Alex.” Here he plays a character named “Mr. Oscar” (a name which is itself hidden inside the pseudonym leOS CARax).
- The flower-eating leprechaun character, “Merde,” first appeared in Carax’ segment in the omnibus movie Tokyo! (2008).
- The role of Mr. Oscar was specifically written for Lavant.
- Carax originally wanted to credit Michel Piccoli (who is difficult to recognize under his makeup) under a pseudonym, but word of the actor’s involvement in the project was leaked.
- Carax says he does not like to shoot on digital film, but did so because he found it made fundraising easier.
- Holy Motors swept the Weirdest Actor (Denis Lavant), Weirdest Scene (the accordion intermission), and Weirdest Movie categories in our 2012 Weirdcademy Awards contest.
INDELIBLE IMAGE: The character of Merde, the gimpy, gibbering, flower-eating subterranean leprechaun-creature, who was so unforgettable Carax recycled him from his segment in the triptych Tokyo!. For a single snapshot that captures Merde’s hard-to-define charm, we select the moment when he bites off a woman’s finger, then licks supermodel Eva Mendes, leaving a trail of blood on her armpit. Ever the professional, she never breaks her expression of sultry indifference.
WHAT MAKES IT WEIRD: Holy Motors is overwrought, pretentious, obscure, scatterbrained, confusing, and self-indulgent—all qualities that, when matched with talent, typically make for a great work of weird art. Prepare to be perplexed. You won’t, however, be bored.
Original trailer for Holy Motors
COMMENTS: Seen as a showcase for the chameleonic talents of Denis Lavant, Holy Motors is an unqualified masterpiece. Lavant officially plays Continue reading 144. HOLY MOTORS (2012)