It's easy to call any kind of "non-traditional" film without some kind of a straight forward plot; surreal or strange (which could both easily describe Leos Carax's long anticipated return; Holy Motors). Just read a lot of my recent reviews and you'll see even I get caught up in that. But with recent works like; Post Tenebras Lux, To The Wonder, Uncle Boonmee & The Tree Of Life, I feel terms like dreamy & surreal are getting played out. The aforementioned films play more in to the stream of conscious genre and look like live-action sketchbooks - ideas that aren't necessarily finished or complete but still look beautiful, has some kind of depth or story behind it, shows talent and possibly contains something personal about the creator that's too good to be kept under wraps no matter how incomplete it may be. Like I said, there's a reason old sketchbooks of famous artists, cartoonists, designers & architects are rare collector's items. Leos Carax's Holy Motors is the perfect example of a sketchbook/stream of consciousness film. Half of Holy Motors' inspiration/influence comes from an unfinished idea (Carax's real life attempt at trying to make a big budget, English-speaking film that never panned out as well as his experiences working with non-French movie studios). The other half of Holy Motors' inspiration comes from inside Leos Carax's very own head - the random thoughts, books & films that circulate inside his mind. Holy Motors is another "movie mixtape" in the same vein as Pulp Fiction, Irma Vep, The Player, Europa & Drive (although not as straight forward) with references to everything from Eyes Without a Face (the film features Eyes Without A Face co-star; Edith Scob) to Carax's very own work from back in the day (Holy Motors makes reference to Mauvais Sang, The Lovers On The Bridge & his 2008 short Merde from the collaborative feature length film Tokyo)...
|Holy Motors (2012) Eyes Without A Face (1960)|
|Holy Motors Tokyo (2008)|
Edith Scob's presence isn't the films' only connection to the older generation of cinema. Michel Piccoli, who appeared in Carax's Mauvais Sang, makes a cameo in the middle of the film as well. Carax's use of Scob & Piccoli is similar to Von Trier's use of Udo Kier, Barbara Sukowa & Eddie Constantine in Europa (an homage to Rainer Werner Fassbinder) or Tarrantino's use of John Travolta in Pulp Fiction (a reference to his cult status due to movies like Grease & Saturday Night Fever as well as an homage to Blowout & Depalma).
|Michel Piccoli in Carax's Holy Motors (L) & Mauvais Sang (R)|