After a quick break from the confusing and unusual movies that we watched in the course through Goodbye Lenin!, we are back to the strange and challenging movies but on a whole other level through Leos Carax’s Holy Motors. Looking at the film itself, it was very hard to comprehend. It was different and frustrating, but it was not boring at all because of how it is animated and constructed. Instead of the usual reaction to a movie wherein you ask questions about what you do not understand after watching it, I found myself focusing on the few things that I understood and made sense of. Although confusing, I quickly realized that the film’s focus was not about understanding the movie. It did not have a classical narrative and instead, it focused on the experience and the reactions of watching the movie.
Focusing on the character of Oscar, who goes through different appointments throughout the day, portraying different roles that really showed his commitment to what he was doing. I found myself intrigued after each role and portrayal as it seemed like a completely different person every time he went out of the limousine. As his job was to completely replicate the character depicted in the envelopes for his appointments, it was amusing to see how he was so passionate but at the same time, it seemed as though he was also getting tired from the different roles that he had to play. At the end of the movie, it seemed as though his real identity was never shown since the scenes that seemed realistic such as when he picked up his daughter from the party, was also part of his acting.
One of the interesting things that I the structure of the film was somehow operatic. The use of music was also intriguing for me such as when Kylie Minogue’s character suddenly sang and when Oscar played the accordion with a bunch of random people that appeared out of nowhere in a church. These sequences did not seem to have a connection but it still worked. After the film, I also had a lot of questions because of the inconsistencies that were presented. One of the things that the film portrayed was how death seemed reversible in how Oscar was suddenly cured whenever the scene cuts back to the limousine. However, Kylie Minogue’s character who also had the same job as him seemed to be dead when she jumped off the building—so was she really dead?
There were a lot of things that I completely do not understand about the movie—why the limousines were talking at the end of the movie, why the family that he went home to at the end of the film were chimpanzees, what his actual job was and why some of the characters that he interacted with were also doing the same job, and a lot more. This made me reflect on what the movie was really intended for and that it was simply for the pure sense of gesture. Despite the movie not being clear and coherent, I still found myself appreciating Holy Motors for how it was. As a fan of videography and cinematography, I appreciated how the movie was shot and it was definitely visually appealing. The film tackles the different roles that we have to play as a part of our life and how we present ourselves vary depending on the different situations that we find ourselves in. Watching Holy Motors was a completely different viewing experience to say the least, but it really shows the complexity of cinema, art, and creativity.