Last night, my friend and I went to see a movie called Holy Motors. We were intrigued by the preview, and thought it looked interesting and very stylish, but we had no way of knowing what a wild ride we were in for. Here’s the trailer.
This is not a review. This is a plea for you to watch the movie so that we can discuss it. It’s not for the faint of heart. It’s dark, and shocking, and lovely, and melancholy, and mysterious, and joyous, and occasionally hysterical, and it’s a myriad of surprises from beginning to end. I don’t even want to say anything about the story, because I want you to have the same experience I (and everyone else in the theater) did. I feel like I’ve already said too much. Worth mentioning is the fact that I almost titled this entry, “Holy crap! Holy Motors!”
More shocking than the movie, however, was what happened after. It happened at the Living Room here in downtown Portland, at the early showing. The film had just finished, but instead of getting up to leave, everyone stayed in their seats, talking quietly. The guy sitting next to my friend and me said that he’d gotten up to take a five-minute bathroom break, and asked what he’d missed. Another guy chimed in that he’d missed a bit on a bathroom break as well. We did our best to remember, and we told him. Then other people started to chime in and ask about what the group thought a scene meant, or how various elements tied together (or didn’t). Before long, everyone was jumping into spontaneous conversation about the film, and comparing it to other films, and suddenly it became Movie Club. The staff had to tell us first politely, and then a bit more pointedly, that they did have a lobby, and we were welcome to go out there, but that they had to clean the theater, and we had to vacate. The group congregated in the hallway and continued the discussion for another fifteen minutes. Everyone who was in that little theater stayed and participated in the discussion. I’ve been going to movies for decades now, and that has never happened before. It was fantastic, and it made me wonder why it doesn’t happen more often.
I want so badly to post pictures and scenes from the movie on here, but I’m not going to. You can seek them out if you want, but I would encourage you not to, and to see it with no prior knowledge of the story. Also, I recommend that you see it on the biggest screen available to you. I imagine that it’s still playing in some arthouse theaters, but if it’s not, it’s out on DVD.
What are you waiting for? Go! See this film!