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Pola X (1999)
Amazing visuals, earnest film
What to say? The film is overdone, for sure, but I can't agree with criticism of the lack of naturalism in the film. It's melodramatic, yes, it's over-the-top, yes, it's self-important, yes, but for all that, I think it ends up telling a story with interest and passion that would be very difficult to tell except in this way. It's a story about a certain, highly Romantic worldview that, yes, is basically horseshit, but at least Carax is honest with his audience about where that kind of self-aggrandizement leads.
What almost saves the film from total pretentiousness is the fact that Pierre must lie in the bed he has made for himself. If one demands so much "truth" out of life, if one rejects anything with the slightest tinge of falsehood about it, then that is yet another ridiculous attitude. And by that I mean, yes, in the end Pierre is ridiculous, but maybe that's Carax's point?
Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe he does end up as a Romantic hero in the end. And maybe it's not so original for that reason.