Annette ★★★

A second viewing reveals its positioning as the fulfillment of the promise of Holy Motors moreso than originally thought. Its opening number the same conceit as the opening theater sequence of Motors, the amplitude of sound waves flickering before giving way to harmony with image, the birth of a new form just as the unlocking of a key gave birth to chronophotography.

The conflict between digital form and analog matter continues, a story of stage performers and a wooden puppet of a baby, anachronism all around.

The thematics of the widower and the single father ever-present, its soundstage set piece being the turning point of the film just the same as the soundstage-constructed grandiosity of The Lovers on the Bridge was for Carax's career writ large.

Still not sold on the execution or its utility, but swinging for the fences is certainly better than the focus-grouped gruel dumped on HBO Max every month.


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