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Leos Carax

Filmmaker


Leos Carax (Paris, France, 1960)

He began his film career with a series of short films and as a film critic, before directing Boy Meets Girl in 1984. The film was critically acclaimed and established Carax's reputation. It was his first collaboration with actor Denis Lavan and cinematographer Jean-Yves Escoffier. Mauvais Sang followed in 1986, which alienated some of his audience as Carax continued to explore the complexities of love in the modern world, this time



through a darker, more criminal landscape. The work was clearly an homage to the Nouvelle Vague movement, and the collaboration with actresses such as Juliette Binoche, the director's partner at the time, proved a moving tribute to his influences, especially Jean-Luc Godard. The film was presented at the 37th Berlin International Film Festival.

Five years later, Carax returned to directing with The Bridge Lovers, which proved to be a costly venture, as the Paris authorities only gave him 10 days in which to film on the Pont Neuf. The solution to the problems of filming on the public bridge was to build a model of the bridge in the South of France. However, on the first day of shooting, Danny Lavan seriously injured his thumb, which delayed the film for a month. Subsequent financial difficulties delayed filming for much longer than anticipated. The film received good reviews and opened the door for the director to more experimental waters with his fourth film Pola X. Released in 1999, this film was an adaptation of Herman Melville's story.

Carax's 2012 film Holy Motors also stars Danny Lavan. The film competed for the Palme d'Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.

Leos Carax (Paris, France, 1960)

Carax's film career began with a series of short films, and as a film critic, before he released Boy Meets Girl (1984), which established his reputation for a mature visual style. It also saw the first grouping of Carax with Denis Lavant and cinematographer Jean-Yves Escoffier. His next film was Mauvais Sang (literally Bad Blood but mostly known as The Night is Young) in 1986, which alienated some of his audience, but continued to explore the complexities of love in the modern world, this time through a darker, more criminal viewpoint. The work was clearly an homage to French New Wave cinema, and his use of such actresses as Juliette Binoche was a tribute to his influences, especially Jean-Luc Godard. The film was entered into the 37th Berlin International Film Festival.

Five years later, Carax returned to directing with Les Amants du Pont-Neuf, an expensive undertaking as Parisian authorities granted him only 10 days to film on Pont Neuf. His initial reaction to the problems of filming on a public bridge had been to construct a model of the bridge in the community of Lansargues, in Southern France. But on the first day of filming Lavant severely injured his thumb, which pushed the movie back by a month. Subsequent financial difficulties further pushed filming over a much longer period than intended. The movie was released to critical acclaim and opened the door for Carax to enter more experimental waters with his fourth feature, Pola X (1999), an adaptation of Herman Melville's Pierre: or, The Ambiguities.

Carax's 2012 film Holy Motors also stars Lavant. The film competed for the Palme d'Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. In 2021, Carax directed Annette, a music-filled drama feature film written by Sparks and starring Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard. In 2017, Carax performed vocals and accordion on the Sparks track "When You're a French Director" from their album Hippopotamus.


Selected Filmography

2021 Annette

2012 Holy Motors1991 Les Amants du Pont-Neuf

1999 Pola X

1986 Mauvais Sang

1984 Boy Meets Girl

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