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Pola X (French with English subtitles)
Main screening room
June 30th, 2022
134 min
Léos Carax - Mister X

When Alex Dupont aka Léos Carax made his first film, Boy Meets Girl, he was just 24 years old. His contemporaries are Jean-Jacques Beineix or Luc Besson, he knows how to create strong images that seem to stand on their own, but unlike his contemporaries, he is closer to Cocteau than to Carné or to Godard than to Lelouch. Hergé is a claimed reference in the same way as a certain rock posture venerating Bowie, Iggy Pop or Scott Walker, while The Rita Mitsouko explodes. These abundant references question the identity of the author and his singularity. But who is Mr. X? The production of the aptly named Pola X (1999, unreleased in Canada), almost ten years after the incredible adventure of Les amants du Pont-Neuf, outlines the beginnings of a response and digs a path in which his two other films are engulfed. Holy Motors (2013) and Annette (2020) tell stories of our time that only cinema seems able to take on, moving from a story around a hypothesis of a schizophrenic, performative and virtual fictional character, to the planetary success of an improbable child endowed with extraordinary vocal qualities. But in the end, it is still and always about excessiveness, for a baroque filmmaker, with exploding singularity.

35mm preservation print courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive

Pola X
Directed by
Leos Carax
French with English subtitles
Guillaume Depardieu, Yekaterina Golubeva, Catherine Deneuve
France, Switzerland, Germany, Japan
134 min
35 mm

Pierre, a young successful writer, leads a carefree life at his family's castle, until a mysterious young woman appears on the side of the road and changes his life. A contemporary adaptation of Herman Melville's Pierre ou les ambiguïtés.

Pola X


Pola X de Leos Carax

With "Pola X," a noisy epic swirl of breast-beating, hair-tearing angst and portentous symbolism, the 39-year-old director Léos Carax captures the dubious title of French cinema's reigning mad romantic.
Stephen Holden, New York Times
À propos de Pola X
Full cast
About Leos Carax
Filmography | Director
Conversation with Leos Carax | Locarno Film Festival

The image is happiness. Leos Carax's cinema

Jean-François Hamel, Ciné-Bulles (Free translation)

Leos Carax. For some, this name is unknown or still obscure. Many have not seen his films or have simply heard of them; others were indignant, lost by the proposals of this resolutely singular filmmaker. For still others, he alone evokes, in barely a handful of films, a whole section of contemporary French cinema since the 1980s. He carries on his shoulders, with Philippe Garrel, the heritage of the New Wave, in particular that of Jean-Luc Godard, with whom he shares a taste for audacity.