Holy Motors

holymotors6Chat. Wine. Cake.

Holy Motors



Exit music

Strange dreams (Charging elephants, a house with endless rooms and staircases, kittens).


“The director has said it all started by being fascinated by limousines from weddings. They contradict themselves; “They say, ‘Look at me but don’t see me.’” He saw them as a symbol of the virtual world (much like our internet world), they want to be seen but won’t let you see in…” Indie

“From dawn to dusk, a few hours in the life of Monsieur Oscar… He seems to be playing roles, plunging headlong into each part – but where are the cameras? … like a conscientious assassin moving from hit to hit. In pursuit of the beautiful gesture, the mysterious driving force, the women and the ghosts of past lives. But where is his true home, his family, his rest?” Red Fruit

“ it uses the cinema itself as a metaphor for the journey of life…the cinematic and literary references (to everyone from Cocteau via Buñuel to Godard) are scattered around town like confetti at a wedding or ticker tape at a hero’s motorcade…” Seer


“ it could be a statement on the movie industry and the lunacy of the acting profession…a philosophical take on life and the different roles we all have to play… man’s uneasy, shifting relationship with technology. Ultimately… when you’ve got Kylie as an air stewardess, belting out a song by The Divine Comedy’s Neil Hannon in an empty department store, does meaning even matter?” Realm

“Searching for meaning is an almost-futile exercise…If Carax is attempting to embody ‘cinema’, is he concerned by how the advances in technology has affected spectatorship and what viewers desire?… Oz

“The film is therefore a form of science fiction, in which humans, beasts and machines are on the verge of extinction – “sacred motors” linked together by a common fate and solidarity, slaves to an increasingly virtual world, a world from which visible machines, real experiences and actions are gradually disappearing.” Carax


Monsieur Merde is fear and phobia. Childhood too. He’s the great post-9/11 regression (terrorists who believe in tales of virgins in paradise, political leaders rejoicing that they can finally make the most of their full powers, like all-powerful kids. And dumbfounded people, like orphans in the dark). Monsieur Merde is the extreme foreigner: the racist immigrant.” Carax

“…classic cinema not as fodder for citation or imitation but as communal dream material…a film about life as cinema and cinema as life.” Cinema


“From the opening sequence featuring Etienne-Jules Marey’s pre-cinematic experiments deconstructing the movements of a walking man) to the finale in which the actress Edith Scob is…made to wear a mask referencing her part in Georges Franju’s Eyes without a Face (1960), Carax’s film is a cornucopia of references… Citations range from canonical art cinema (FranjuDemyCocteauBuñuel) to Hollywood blockbusters such as Cars and Godzilla.

…female characterisation is not a strong point, with the film running the gamut of familiar stereotypes: erotic goddess, suicidal gamine, suburban housewife played by… a chimpanzee.

…[Oscar’s] incarnations are better understood as parables of dying and resurrection or meditations on artifice and authenticity than as offering a coherent message or narrative.” Institute

2 thoughts on “Holy Motors

  1. I think we should be congratulated in our chin stroking abilities; we definitely covered many of these things in our discussions throughout the film, before we even watched the DVD extra… particularly regarding it being about ‘acting styles’, ‘beauty’, ‘the roles we play in our lives’ and ‘death’. Get us!

  2. Well, I think there are almost as many interpretations as there are viewers (although the BFI/Sight & Sound article is definitely helpful – click on the Institute link!).

    And I really did dream about those things on Monday night!

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