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By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Holy HOLY MOTORS!! 9 images, video, press kit extracts

  The tweets after the first screening: c’est incroyable!

Epigraph to the press kit: “History adds that before or after dying he found himself in the presence of God and told Him: “I who have been so many men in vain want to be one and myself.” The voice of the Lord answered from a whirlwind: “Neither am I anyone; I have dreamt the world as you dreamt your work, my Shakespeare, and among the forms in my dream are you, who like myself are many and no one.”

— Jorge Luis Borges, “Everything and Nothing”

“From dawn to after nightfall, a few hours in the life of Monsieur Oscar, a shadowy character who journeys from one life to the next. He is, in turn, captain of industry, assassin, beggar, monster, family man… He seems to be playing roles, plunging headlong into each part… but where are the cameras? Monsieur Oscar is alone, accompanied only by Céline, the slender blonde woman behind the wheel of the vast engine that transports him in and around Paris. He’s like a conscientious assassin moving from hit to hit. In pursuit of the purely beautiful act, the mysterious driving force, the women and ghosts of past lives. But where is his true home, his family, his rest?”

HIM Jean, there’s something you don’t know. HER About you? HIM About us. Denis Lavant (monsieur oscar / banker / beggar woman / motion capture specialist / monsieur merde / The father / The accordionist / The killer / The victim / The dying man / The man in the house) Carax: “Like cinema itself, Denis comes from the stage, the fairground and the circus. His body is sculpted like those of the athletes chronophotographed by Marey. and when I film this body on the move, I feel the same pleasure I imagine Muybridge felt watching his galloping horse.” Carax: “Holy Motors was born of my incapacity to carry out several projects, all of them in another language and another country. They all ran into the same two obstacles: casting and cash. Fed up with not being able to film, I used Merde, which had been commissioned in Japan, as inspiration. I commissioned myself to make a project under the same conditions, but in France—come up with an inexpensive film, quickly, for a pre-selected actor. All of it made possible by digital cameras, which I despise (they are imposing themselves or being imposed on us), but which seem to reassure everyone. There’s never any initial idea or intention behind a film, but rather a couple of images and feelings that I splice together. For Holy Motors, one of the images I had in mind was of these stretch limousines that have appeared in the last few years. I first saw them in america and now every Sunday in my neighborhood in Paris for Chinese weddings. They’re completely in tune with our times—both showy and tacky. They look good from the outside, but inside there’s the same sad feeling as in a whores’ hotel. They still touch me, though. They’re outdated, like the old futurist toys of the past. I think they mark the end of an era, the era of large, visible machines. These cars very soon became the heart of the film – its motor, if I may put it that way. I imagined them as long vessels carrying humans on their final journeys, their final assignments. The film is therefore a form of science fiction, in which humans, beasts and machines are on the verge of extinction—“sacred motors” linked together by a common fate and solidarity, slaves to an increasingly virtual world. a world from which visible machines, real experiences and actions are gradually disappearing.”

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Julian Schnabel: Years ago, I was down there with my cousin’s wife Corky. She was wild — she wore makeup on her legs, and she had a streak in her hair like Yvonne De Carlo in “The Munsters.” She liked to paint. I had overalls on with just a T-shirt and looked like whatever. We were trying to buy a bunch of supplies with my cousin Jesse’s credit card. They looked at the credit card, and then they looked at us and thought maybe we stole the card, so they called Jesse up. He was a doctor who became the head of trauma at St. Vincent’s. They said, “There’s somebody here with this credit card and we want to know if it belongs to you.”

He said, “Well, does the woman have dyed blonde hair and fake eyelashes and look like she stepped out of the backstage of some kind of silent movie, and is she with some guy who has wild hair and is kind of dressed like a bum?”

“Yeah, that’s them.”

“Yeah, that’s my cousin and my wife. It’s okay, they can charge it on my card.”
~ Julian Schnabel Remembers NYC’s Now-Shuttered Pearl Paint

MB Cool. I was really interested in the aerial photography from Enter the Void and how one could understand that conceptually as a POV, while in fact it’s more of an objective view of the city where the story takes place. So it’s an objective and subjective camera at the same time. I know that you’re interested in Kubrick. We’ve talked about that in the past because it’s something that you and I have in common—

GN You’re obsessed with Kubrick, too.

MB Does he still occupy your mind or was he more of an early influence?

GN He was more of an early influence. Kubrick has been my idol my whole life, my own “god.” I was six or seven years old when I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey, and I never felt such cinematic ecstasy. Maybe that’s what brought me to direct movies, to try to compete with that “wizard of Oz” behind the film. So then, years later, I tried to do something in that direction, like many other directors tried to do their own, you know, homage or remake or parody or whatever of 2001. I don’t know if you ever had that movie in mind for your own projects. But in my case, I don’t think about 2001 anymore now. That film was my first “trip” ever. And then I tried my best to reproduce on screen what some drug trips are like. But it’s very hard. For sure, moving images are a better medium than words, but it’s still very far from the real experience. I read that Kubrick said about Lynch’s Eraserhead, that he wished he had made that movie because it was the film he had seen that came closest to the language of nightmares.

Matthew Barney and Gaspar Noé