Pola X

Screening on Film
Directed by Leos Carax.
With Guillaume Depardieu, Catherine Deneuve, Yekaterina Golubeva.
Germany/Switzerland/France/Japan, 1999, 35mm, color, 134 min.
French with English subtitles.

The life of a wealthy young dilettante is upended when, on the way to visit his fiancée, he happens upon a mysterious young woman in a forest. Claiming to be his half-sister, she inspires him to forego his comfortable existence for la vie de bohème in Paris. Based on one of Herman Melville’s most mysterious books, Pierre, or The Ambiguities, this moody, doomy film is a meditation on the Janus-like nature of passion, which can heal or destroy. Fittingly, Carax here eschews the limpidity of his earlier films for something darker and murkier. Sexually explicit and at times a difficult film, Pola X excited some controversy upon its initial release, but today it can be seen as a brilliant turning point from the earlier films of love to Carax’s more recent work that celebrates the anarchic modes of creation and expression.

Part of film series

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Overdrive: The Films of Leos Carax

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