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Holy Motors

When: Fri., Nov. 16 2012

We've heard of the cruel fate of artists who were ignored in their own time. Dickinson published few poems in her lifetime and Vincent Van Gogh sold few paintings in his, while Mozart was, despite youthful fame, buried in a pauper's graveyard. It's far too early to say if the polarizing French filmmaker Leos Carax will join the pantheon after he dies, but he's doing the obscurity-while-alive thing quite well. More than 20 years ago, he claimed the enfant-terrible title with his exuberantly maximalist Lovers on the Bridge, which starred a young Juliette Binoche. It bombed. His next came eight years later and was called Pola X, which was adapted from a Herman Melville novel. It bombed. Thirteen years later, his third feature, Holy Motors, is in theaters. It's recognizably the work of Carax, but it's more modestly scaled and shot through with the ruefulness of a middle-aged and disillusioned artist. Still, it's a stupendously imaginative effort, a tribute to the art and history of cinema. Denis Lavant, who starred with Binoche in Lovers, returns as Carax's Chaplinesque muse in this tale of a man who stars in scenes from very different movies, one after the other. Visit our Artery blog for a more thorough review. —David Fellerath

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