Leos Carax

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Leos Carax
Leos Carax Cannes 2012.jpg
Born
Alex Christophe Dupont

(1960-11-22) 22 November 1960 (age 61)
Occupation
  • Film director
  • critic
  • actor
  • screenwriter
Years active1984–present

Alex Christophe Dupont[1][2] (born 22 November 1960), best known as Leos Carax (French: [leɔs kaʁaks]), is a French film director, critic, and writer. Carax is noted for his poetic style and his tortured depictions of love. His first major work was Boy Meets Girl (1984), and his notable works include Les Amants du Pont-Neuf (1991), Holy Motors (2012) and Annette (2021). His professional name is an anagram of his real name, 'Alex', and 'Oscar'.

Early life[edit]

Carax was born Alex Christophe Dupont in Suresnes, Hauts-de-Seine, a commune in the suburbs of Paris, France.[1] His mother is American and his father is French.

Career[edit]

Carax's film career began with a series of short films, and as a film critic, before he released Boy Meets Girl (1984), which established his reputation for a mature visual style. It also saw the first grouping of Carax with Denis Lavant and cinematographer Jean-Yves Escoffier. His next film was Mauvais Sang (literally Bad Blood but mostly known as The Night is Young) in 1986, which alienated some of his audience, but continued to explore the complexities of love in the modern world, this time through a darker, more criminal viewpoint. The work was clearly an homage to French New Wave cinema, and his use of such actresses as Juliette Binoche was a tribute to his influences, especially Jean-Luc Godard. The film was entered into the 37th Berlin International Film Festival.[3]

Five years later, Carax returned to directing with Les Amants du Pont-Neuf, an expensive undertaking as Parisian authorities granted him only 10 days to film on Pont Neuf. His initial reaction to the problems of filming on a public bridge had been to construct a model of the bridge in the community of Lansargues, in Southern France. But on the first day of filming Lavant severely injured his thumb, which pushed the movie back by a month. Subsequent financial difficulties further pushed filming over a much longer period than intended. The movie was released to critical acclaim and opened the door for Carax to enter more experimental waters with his fourth feature, Pola X (1999), an adaptation of Herman Melville's Pierre: or, The Ambiguities.

Carax's 2012 film Holy Motors also stars Lavant.[4] The film competed for the Palme d'Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.[5][6] In 2021, Carax directed Annette, a music-filled drama feature film written by Sparks and starring Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard. In 2017, Carax performed vocals on the Sparks track When You're a French Director from its album Hippopotamus.

Filmography[edit]

Director[edit]

Films[edit]

Year Original title Type
1980 "Strangulation Blues" Short
1984 Boy Meets Girl Feature
1986 Mauvais Sang Feature
1991 Les Amants du Pont-Neuf Feature
1997 "Sans Titre" Short
1999 Pola X Feature
2006 "My Last Minute" Short
2008 Tokyo! - segment "Merde" Short
2010 "42 One Dream Rush" Short
2012 Holy Motors Feature
2014 "Gradiva" Short
2021 Annette Feature

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Artist
2002 "Quelqu'un m'a dit" Carla Bruni
2003 "Tout le monde" Carla Bruni
2005 "Crystal" (alternative version) New Order

As actor[edit]

Year Title
1987 King Lear
1997 The House
2004 Process
2006 977
2007 Mister Lonely
2012 Holy Motors
2021 Annette

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Philippe Rège. (2010). Encyclopedia of French film directors. Vol. Volume I. A–M. Lanham: Scarecrow Press. pp. 175–176. ISBN 978-0-8108-6137-4. {{cite book}}: |volume= has extra text (help)
  2. ^ Manohla Dargis. (16 October 2012). "It's Not About the Destination, but About the Dizzying Ride". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 July 2013.
  3. ^ "Berlinale: 1987 Programme". berlinale.de. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
  4. ^ ""Holly motors", le retour de Léos Carax, avec Denis Lavant - News films Tournages - AlloCiné". Allocine.fr. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
  5. ^ "2012 Official Selection". Cannes. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
  6. ^ "Cannes Film Festival 2012 line-up announced". timeout. Retrieved 19 April 2012.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]