Biblioklept

“Beauty! Beauty! Beauty!” a photographer coos as he snaps shots of supermodel Kay M in a crowded graveyard. A manic beastman interrupts the shoot, knocking down onlookers, chomping on flowers, and quickly diverting the photographer’s attention, lens, and mantra: Turning his camera on the little goatman, enthralled, he repeats, “Weird! Weird! Weird!”

For many viewers, this might be all that French director Leos Carax’s latest film Holy Motors boils down to: “Beauty! Beauty! Beauty! Weird! Weird! Weird!” (And, of course, all the unsettling space along that strange axis). However, it would be a mistake to think that Holy Motors is simply an excursion into the bizarre. The film’s initial scenes pile on absurdity after absurdity with no context (or recognizable film grammar) for audiences to latch to, but that absurdity eventually coheres into a profound essay on what it means to be actors in a life where both audience and director…

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