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France, 1984 (MIFF 1985)

Director: Leos Carax

Leos Carax's feature debut is a moody, offbeat tale arousing considerable controversy wherever it has screened - a paradoxical film where innovation and tradition confront each other mercilessly from beginning to end.

Alex is a 22 year old "enfant terrible", determined to leave his mark on art and life. We watch him over a period of three nights in Paris as he spends his time trailing two young couples. But the world we enter with Alex is a phantom world where everybody tries to keep their distance.

In the course of his movements, however, there are "romances" and fleeting encounters with a variety of mostly flamboyant characters - children, old people, teenagers, young men. ageing bachelors, faded women, young women in their prime.

For die must part, Alex is silent But when lie talks, he speaks too much and too fast. He ends up following his own voice. One night it will end badly...

The "plot" is open to a variety of interpretations but the eerie combination of images, music and locations create an initial effect which is indelible. One is struck, too, by the way in which the narrative forces a reflection upon the cinema as a concept of words and silence. While drawing its impact from the "interior" of the dialogue, it draws its references from certain classic narrative elements, in particular those of Hollywood films noirs.

See also...


France, 1986
A youthful, anarchic film from 26-year-old French director Leos Carax, a crime thriller that turns into a tale of unrequited love. ... "Paris, a few years before the beginning of the 21st century. No… More »


South Korea, 1999
Set in the back alleys of Paris, Wild Animals sketches the unique friendship between two Koreans living abroad. South Korean Chung-hae goes to Paris to study art but, lacking scruples, he soon winds … More »


France, 2012
“Represents everything that cinema ought to be: poetic, unpractised in following convention and filled with mystery.” - Screen Comment ... Leos Carax has been doing audience's heads in since his … More »


France/Germany/Japan/Switzerland, 1999
“A noisy epic swirl of breast-beating, hair-tearing angst and portentous symbolism.” - New York Times ... Ever the champion of creative cinematic experiences over traditional structures and narra… More »


France, 1991
This vivid, visceral journey through the vagabond experience is one of the classics of early 90s French cinema. ... Pont Neuf, the oldest bridge in Paris, provides the setting for this alternative lo… More »

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