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Pola X at UW Cinematheque

July 28, 2022 @ 6:30 pm

Mysterious half-sister Isabelle (Yekaterina Golubeva) slowly walks in on a disheveled and bespectacled Pierre (Guillaume Depardieu, in the foreground), who's sleeping on a ream of papers at his desk—the origins of a new novel devoted to uncovering truths.

Excerpt from Grant Phipps’ review: “For his fourth feature, Pola X (1999), Carax transmutates Melville’s subversive 1852 novel Pierre: Or, The Ambiguities with the sort of verve one would expect of the same iconoclastic mind who enraptured audiences with delirious romances—sister films, even—Mauvais Sang (1986) and Lovers On The Bridge (1991). Using Melville’s template, Carax applies the same charged style to a tale of a family in the dual process of fraying and coupling, of incestuous dreams manifest, offering a portrait of the artist as an ageless man. Initial search results and impressions of Pola X are likely to lump it in with what Artforum critic James Quandt coined as the “New French Extremity” movement for one particularly murky sexual encounter. Yet Carax’s approach is far from extreme, savoring the smoldering intrigue of the subconscious framed between fits of panicked disillusionment from protagonist Pierre Valombreuse (the late Guillaume Depardieu).”



UW Cinematheque
821 University Ave / 4070 Vilas Hall
Madison, WI 53706 United States
+ Google Map
(608) 262-3627

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