Holy Motors

Holy Motors ★★★★

The search for authenticity and the desensitization that comes with it. Do I sound smart or like a dumb person trying to sound smart? I’m both. And so is this movie. Kidding, it’s just smart. And I’m just dumb. WHOOOOOA. Here’s a discussion board post I made about HOLY MOTORZ two semesterz ago about what I think it “means”:

One line stood out to me so early on, being "For many years it's all I've seen. Stone and feet." Such a poetic line to incorporate into a lie. It struck me at just how empathic and internal of a thought that is. And how genuine the level of empathy may be when it comes to method acting. Eventually, I thought it was revealed that Mr. Oscar had a daughter and lived a normal life. I saw a father who had been lying for a living stomach the nerve to ask his daughter "why did you lie to me?" but that segment turned out to be another performance. Was it all part of the act? What was real, if any of it was? How openminded/empathetic must you be to pretend to such an extreme/become other people? Is that acting after all? I mean, it’s ironic that we call him Mr. Oscar, because he never really is Mr. Oscar outside of a few minutes. I don’t think he wants to be, either.

Before anything else, I thought this was about the evolution of technology and its effect on film. When the motion capture artists begin to mate, which is the best word I can think of for what they were doing, their animated counterparts repeat their actions. This made me think about how all fantastical video graphics and animation come from human emotion. Every outlandish crevasse of the internet was built from people for people. When Mr. Oscar entered the room, there was an exterior shot of this gray building that couldn’t have been more different to what happened inside. In that shot, he walked through the upper level while two people dressed the same (similarly down to the suitcase), walk in the opposite direction from the lower level. As easy as it is to label this man weird, this begs us to discuss all others involved who do the same thing. Is "weird" a deflection of the truth? Is it really weird if everyone's doing it?

During the funeral to sewer sequence, the model stood out to me, and not just because she was one of the few faces I could recognize OR when she escaped with a gremlin into the sewers I thought to myself, “so there’s a chance.” BUT because she was STRANGELY unmoved in the midst of STRANGE chaos, and I found that fascinating. If I had to analyze her behavior, I’d say she’s used to her beauty, and bored of it. Numbed of the constant praise. So, when she saw “the beast,” she became attracted to a lifestyle afar from her routine. Everyone panicked and she let him take her away. She was in need of excitement of the bare minimum. I then thought about how desensitized we’ve become to graphic content, and our willingness to elicit shock value. In the future, maybe film will be people recorded as themselves, because we’ve exhausted every artistic outlet and the only source of entertainment left is authenticity. *Comment about Eric [Andre] On The Street* Holy Motors takes place in the society described, where entertainment has driven people to resort to “appointments,” which sounds like a more futuristic problem than the time period we’re presented. But shouldn’t a world otherwise identical to our own put everything into perspective? We experienced the evolution of iPhones like the rise of DRAKE. We’ve come a long way, and we may be closer to A.I. limousines than we are far.

I'd say my favorite scene (series of scenes) would have to be the reunion with whom I assumed to be his former lover and what followed. I could be wrong, because every second of this film could very likely be one performance after another, but this bit in particular seemed like the ONE glimpse into his REALITY, before the pretending. It is said by Eva Grace/Jean, "We've got 20 minutes to catch up on 20 years." Later, Mr. Oscar says to Celine, "We have to laugh before midnight. Who knows if we'll laugh in the next life?" Not long after, they share a brief, but hysterical laugh. This part was my favorite, because I wasn't trying to figure it out. I knew that I was involved regardless.
Of course, there’s runner-ups like the deathbed scene where he breaks character to apologize/console an actress and the accordion intermission that I didn’t even know was an intermission. In the end, I think it's about all of this. Every one of these appointments and their range of sensation were true because the world is a stage its lives are a performance. It's interesting how easy it is to walk away from this film thinking it meant nothing, because I think it's about everything. And the thought of exploring so much at one time is so uncontrollable and overpowering that you cannot help but ask yourself what the hell was that? I’d have to guess the initial consensus of this film is confusion, but it's so much more than that… probably.

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