Skip to content

Pola X

  • Directed by Leos Carax
  • France, 1999, 134 mins., French

“Herman Melville, Catherine Deneuve, music legend Scott Walker—they’re all part of the mad mix in the intoxicating, incendiary, often sexually explicit POLA X. The film is adapted from PIERRE, OR THE AMBIGUITIES, the mysterious, much-maligned 1852 novel that was Melville’s follow-up to MOBY DICK. Carax’s ravishing, insanely romantic, rock-operatic update is set in present-day Normandy, where Pierre (Guillaume Depardieu), born to wealth and a hit novelist to boot, resides with his mother Marie (Deneuve) and prepares to wed golden girl Lucie (Delphine Chuillot). After meeting a strange, spectral young woman (Yekaterina Golubeva) who may be his half-sister, Pierre throws everything away for a love dreamy, dark, and doomed.” —Pacific Cinematheque. “I am grateful for films that break free of the dismal bonds of formula to cartwheel into overwrought passionate excess…. I would rather see one movie like this than a thousand BRING IT ONs.”—Roger Ebert, The Chicago Sun-Times.

Genres: Drama, Romance

Other Films by Leos Carax

Holy Motors

“This wild, mythic enigma chronicles a day and a night in the life of the chameleon-like Mr. Oscar (Denis Lavant), a kind of avatar in a white stretch limousine who, in the course of his multiple missions, is transformed as a twisted dwarf, an elderly crone, a knife fighter, a hitman, a dying uncle, a

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

Denis Lavant, Carax’s onscreen alter ego, and Juliette Binoche are young vagrants who meet on Paris’s famed Pont Neuf. Alex is a fire-eating street performer and addict. Michèle is a heartbroken painter who is slowly going blind. Carax’s dazzling, delirious chronicle of their “amour fou” is a vivid, visionary, pyrotechnic valentine to Paris—much of it

Mauvais Sang (Bad Blood)

The follow-up to BOY MEETS GIRL, MAUVAIS SANG is an exhilarating mixture of classic French crime thriller and spectacular Vincente Minnelli-like romance. Always on the prowl, Alex (Denis Lavant) joins a gang of thugs to steal the serum for a virus that kills people who “make love without love.” Then, with bold precision, the story

Boy Meets Girl

Carax’s Nouvelle Vague-inspired first feature was hailed upon its release as the most impressive French debut since Jean-Luc Godard’s BREATHLESS. Alex (Denis Lavant) and Mireille (Mireille Perrier) wander the dark side of Paris until they fatefully meet, falling in love and failing in love despite their loneliness. Alternately expressionistic and hauntingly surreal, this droll, moody