Sunday, November 4, 2012

Leos Carax's new film "Holy Motors", Paolo Sorrentino's "This Must Be The Place" & Julia Loktev's "Loneliest Planet" at Landmark Theatres: Nov 2 - Dec 13

Quality cinema returns to the Landmarks! It's been awhile since this independent chain has been on top of their curation enough to necessitate my support and attendance. After the initial rush of SIFF films getting their theatrical runs, there's been a protracted couple month dry spell. Thankfully that ends this November! Julia Loktev's previous film "Day Night, Day Night" made my 'films of the year' list in 2007 for it's intensely ambiguous, tension-filled depiction of the day in the life of a potential terrorist/activist(?). Her newest "Loneliest Planet" looks to explore similar ambiguities of underlying suspense, but set against the massive open landscapes of the Caucasus Mountains of Russian Georgian, a literal no-man's land. We also get Paolo Sorrentino's confounding, fun, genre-ambiguous drama of Sean Pean as a retired 80's Goth celebrity in "This Must Be the Place" as his life takes a sudden turn from his mundane Suburban UK daily rituals of shuffling from his mansion to the mall, with the death of his father, a prominent scholar and Holocaust survivor. Probably one of the most original reinventions of the American Road Movie since that other great European director Wim Wenders, gave us "Paris, Texas". Penn is convincing as the 'Robert Smith' analog Cheyenne, and this was enough of a good one when I caught it some months ago on the festival circuit that I'm not missing a chance at a second viewing in the theater. Lastly, Leos Carax, the genius/ding-aling/auteur behind 1999's "Pola X" is back after a decade-plus hiatus with "Holy Motors". All images I've seen in circulation since it's Cannes premier suggest potential greatness and major coverage in the October issue of Sight & Sound appears to affirm that fact. I've gleaned as much as I want to know in advance which only touches on a aspect of the film's narrative; that of the many lives and nocturnal ambulations of Mr. Oscar, (one of which being Monsieur Merde, the twisted Leprechaun previously encountered in Carax's passage of the "Tokyo!" anthology). His multiple manifestations giving new definition to the term 'Parisian nightlife'. I expect this is going to be one identity-shifting, phantasmagoric, surreal ride. Think maybe the dream-city-identity wanderings of a 21st Century Jacques Rivette or Jean Cocteau under the influence of Psilocybin. Many who caught it's film festival runs have claimed it one of the greatest cinematic experiences of their year - I anticipate finding myself among them!