Pola X Screen 4 articles

Pola X

1999

Pola X Poster
  • Pola X can perhaps most fruitfully be seen as a film about the tragic Depardieu, who died at the age of 37 (Golubeva recently died, too, of “causes unknown”). Carax doesn’t always seem to know what he’s doing here, but the angelic and damned Depardieu certainly does, and his guiding presence gives the film much weight and poignancy.

  • There's clearly some sort of self-portraiture going on here. A 19th-century romantic inhabiting a universe as mythological as Jean Cocteau's, Carax (Boy Meets Girl, Bad Blood, The Lovers on the Bridge) has a wonderful cinematic eye and a personal feeling for editing rhythms, and his sense of overripeness and excess virtually defines him. He's as self-indulgent as they come, and we'd all be much the poorer if he weren't.

  • Carax, who shot to the forefront of world cinema in his twenties, here wrestles with fame, success, love, and family; if his fidelity to Melville’s plot constrains his image-making somewhat (and his sense of humor), it doesn’t limit the rock-operatic, heaven-storming intensity of his inner vision. Bathos and rage, ambition and frustration, and forbidden lust (filmed with a post-pornographic precision) converge in a sort of furious and less than fond farewell to himself.

  • ...If it sounds like rough sailing, just imagine it filtered through one of the most intense gazes the French cinema ever laid claim to. Carax's touchstones, percussive rhythm, sharp compositions bleeding with primary colors, eye-popping cues to cinema, a pre-Raphaelite sensitivity towards bodies and faces, or hitherto used to externalize passion, render it in cinematic terms.