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Tuesday, March 5: "Holy Motors"

The Grand Cinema

"HOLY MOTORS": Over the course of a single day, Monsieur Oscar travels by limousine around Paris to a series of nine "appointments," transforming into new characters or incarnations at each stop.

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Innumerable films have been categorized in the marginal depiction of the word "surreal," denoting fantasy, non-conventional atmosphere, the obscure and a singular word used most commonly in describing the film Holy Motors. A wise man once said, "Only those who attempt the absurd can achieve the impossible." Absurdity and breathtaking surrealism instantaneously captivate your attention from the opening scene and hold it unwaveringly throughout. The impossible becomes routine and the absurdity blinds the analytical. If you were to view a presentation of stills collected from Denis Lavant's portrayal of the character "Monsieur Oscar" in Leos Carax's Holy Motors, it would appear as a life time achievement award verses the impossible singular - yet multiple - role in this stunning work of art. Appropriately enough, the word "surreal" easily summarizes this kaleidoscope film.

Well over a decade in the making, Holy Motors arrives at The Grand for a brief moment, a single day of a mere two showings. Much like the directors style of storytelling or rather his revealing, the film is minimal and profound. Monsieur Oscar has a number of mysterious appointments, for each of which he has to apply a new and elaborate disguise. In the course of each, he seems to enter a different or parallel universe in which his persona is unquestioningly accepted. Understanding the symbolism uniquely expressed in Carax's films, most specifically Holy Motors, requires a brief look at this reclusive filmmakers mystic. It's rare to find a film so gripping as it whirls you through sudden twists and jarring imagery with such a void in established character development and dialog. This rarity, typically an honor bestowed upon Terry Gilliam or even that of the ever visually appealing Michael Gondry, is what elevates Carax's film Holy Motors into the alluring and all too unyielding nonsensical wonderment of the word - surreal. 

Read Lisa Fruichantie's full feature on Holy Motors in the Weekly Volcano's Arts section.

THE GRAND CINEMA, TUESDAY, MARCH 5, 2 AND 6:35 P.M., $4.50-$9, 606 S. FAWCETT AVE., TACOMA, 253.593.4474

Lisa Fruichantie is the senior projectionist at The Grand Cinema. She's seen a film or two.

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