Mad Romance: The Films of Leos Carax

  • May 23, 2014 — June 1, 2014

After starting out as a Cahiers du Cinéma critic, Carax, with his first feature at age 23, was immediately proclaimed the “bad boy” and “boy genius” of French cinema. Though he has only made five films in 30 years, each has made its own striking impact on critics, audiences, and filmmakers alike, each film’s release amounting to a riveting cinematic event. Infused with a distinctive romantic fatalism, his characters, like the travails that have limited his filmmaking output, encounter worlds full of alienation, chaos, and tragic love. Indicative of his eccentric passion, Carax, born Alex Christophe Dupont, adopted “Leos Carax” as his nom-de-cinéma—an anagram of Alex, his first name, and Oscar, as in Academy Award. It has also been suggested that “Leos Carax” can be read as “Le Oscar à X,” French for “The Oscar goes to X.” “Carax is a great self-fabulist, something like a mixture of Tarantino and Godard of the ’60s, thoroughly caught up in the melodrama of being a Great Moviemaker…. His best work is burning with a feeling for tragedy and apocalypse.”—David Thompson, THE NEW BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF FILM.

boy_meets_girl_1984

Boy Meets Girl

Directed by Leos Carax

Carax’s Nouvelle Vague-inspired first feature was hailed upon its release as the most impressive French debut since Jean-Luc Godard’s BREATHLESS.

mauvais_sang_1986

Mauvais Sang (Bad Blood)

Directed by Leos Carax

The follow-up to BOY MEETS GIRL, MAUVAIS SANG is an exhilarating mixture of classic French crime thriller and spectacular Vincente

lovers_on_the_bridge_1991

Les Amants Du Pont-Neuf (The Lovers on the Bridge)

Directed by Leos Carax

Denis Lavant, Carax’s onscreen alter ego, and Juliette Binoche are young vagrants who meet on Paris’s famed Pont Neuf. Alex

pola_x_1999

Pola X

Directed by Leos Carax

“Herman Melville, Catherine Deneuve, music legend Scott Walker—they’re all part of the mad mix in the intoxicating, incendiary, often sexually

holy_motors_2012

Holy Motors

Directed by Leos Carax

“This wild, mythic enigma chronicles a day and a night in the life of the chameleon-like Mr. Oscar (Denis Lavant),