Two Movies to See

Denis Lavant in one of many guises

Holy Motors, a recent French film showing at the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque this weekend (Thursday at 8:45 pm and Friday at 8:35 pm) is a very, very weird movie by director Leos Carax. It features a complicated, enigmatic, fascinating “story” and a truly remarkable performance by the protean Denis Lavant.

Lavant appears throughout in widely varied guises, enacting random-seeming scenarios all around Paris. After he finishes one, as, for example, a disabled old beggar, he changes his disguise in a limo and may become an actor in a porno film, or a woman, or a dignified executive. It all has to do with artifice, imagination, movie-making, and role-playing. It’s strange and very entertaining, as long as you don’t fuss about figuring everything out in a linear way.

Read this New Yorker review, after you see the movie.

Also, for Valentine’s Day, see When Harry Met Sally, the 1989 film written by Nora Ephron, who died last year (Thursday at 6:45 pm or Friday at 9:15 pm). You’ll be entertained, and you’ll understand everything that’s going on.

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