Surreal French filmmaker Leos Carax is not a household name -- but his last film, Holy Motors, was an accidental accessible art-house hit in 2013. Well, as accessible as a film with a scene featuring Eva Mendes being ogled by an underground troll sporting a real erection onscreen can be.
The success of Holy Motors led many to seek out the previous work of Carax; since he works very sporadically, that consists of four films and about three shorts. But it wasn't until last year that his first works became available again, and the Sie FilmCenter has jumped at the chance to play catch-up this weekend with a triple feature of his first two films, Boy Meets Girl and Mauvais Sang, and a brand-new documentary, Mr. X, that explores the life and career of Monsieur Carax.
See also: Leos Carax's Holy Motors Is Breathtaking...and Impossible to Classify
"Although he doesn't make films at what one might call a blistering pace, what he does put on screen often takes more than your average amount of time to digest, so this tempo seems to be a good thing, for us and him," says Brit Withey, artistic director for the Denver Film Society. "Stylistically, Carax's films are visually explosive -- which counters, to some degree, his storylines of wrecked lovers looking to connect."
Here's a brief glimpse of how you can connect with this unique filmmaker at the Sie's Leos Carax triple feature:Mr. X: A Vision of Leos Carax
5:30 p.m. Saturday, January 10 Adding to the mystique of Carax is the fact that his real name is Alex Dupont -- but he chose to make an anagram of Alex and Oscar for him nom du film. "He's the most undefinable man I know," says Juliette Binoche of herMauvais Sang
director in Louise-Salomé's documentary portrait. The film does it's darndest to unravel Carax's puzzle by interviewing the many stars who have worked with him, along with peers from Kiyoshi Kurosawa to Harmony Korine, and many of the film critics who carry the keys to understanding his work. Salomé was given access to Carax's clips, set stills and outtakes, and the filmmaker even pops up to narrate a bit of his own wild story.Boy Meets Girl
7:20 p.m. Saturday, January 10 Carax's 1984 feature debut is a grotesquely romantic, black-and-white stunner that elicited comparisons to Godard and Truffaut and their ground-breaking New Wave style. But Carax almost seems to create a stylistic wave of his own with this tale of two lovers who break up and run into dozens of random strangers as they go their separate ways, yet aredestined to meet again. Actor Denis Levant makes his debut as Carax's cinematic alter-ego, a thread that will continue all the way throughHoly Motors
in 2012.Mauvais Sang
9:30 p.m. Saturday, January 10 Carax's stunning 1986 sophomore effort explodes in vivid color and takes us to a future, not too far away, where a bizarre disease is killing youths who have sex without emotional intimacy. A serum is developed to combat it and then stolen by a mysterious woman who recruits two teens, wrapped up in their own hormone-induced terrors that could be fixed by the serum. This darkly comic thriller not only announced Carax as one to watch, but stars Juliette Binoche, Julie Delpy and Denis Levant as well.
The Leos Carax Triple Feature is Saturday, January 10 at the Sie FilmCenter, 2510 East Colfax. Tickets for each film are $10 or $7 for DFS members; get more info at denverfilm.org.
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Dear Constant Reader, you can learn more about Keith Garcia on Twitter: @ConstantWatcher