‘Mr. X’ Trailer Brings Us Closer to Leos Carax

Written by on August 4, 2014 

mr. x leos carax

To make a documentary about a living artist and treat them as some enigmatic being who cannot be conventionally understood is a… problematic approach. What if they’re just camera-shy and wish to let their work do the talking? What if they become more and more conventional as you dig deeper into anything that might be acquired? These issues may have struck  Tessa Louise-Salomé, whose debut feature, Mr. X, seeks to learn more about Leos Carax, but may only be of passing interest.

But if I, personally, am interested in the man who created Mauvais Sang, The Lovers on the Bridge, and Holy Motors, to name only a few, an attraction to this material is immediately established. (It doesn’t hurt that no one else is making him the focus of this sort of study.) Perhaps picking up a bit from Louise-Salomé‘s documentary featurette Drive in Holy Motors, Mr. X checks in with Carax‘s various collaborators (Denis Lavant, Eva Mendes, Kylie Minogue), protegés (Harmony Korine, Kiyoshi Kurosawa), and even a few critics (Kent Jones, Richard Brody) — while also supplying snippets of his favorite films — to build a unique portrait. It’s hard to tell whether or not a real story exists therein — and the first word hasn’t been hugely encouraging — but the below preview is eye-catching all the same, both for the content and new footage; at the very worst, it’ll encourage some neophytes to seek out these special films for themselves.

Watch the trailer below:



In France, Leos Carax has long been branded as a mysterious, solitary filmmaker with an aversion to both the media and the public at large. Yet outside of his home country, his work takes precedence over this public image, and he is recognized as an icon of world cinema. ‘Mr leos caraX’ tackles this complex artist—a cult figure since his first feature—by plunging the spectator into the poetic and visionary world of his films.

By means of exclusive archival materials, interviews with his closest collaborators (such as Denis Lavant), and excerpts from his favorite films, this documentary attempts to put together a few pieces of the Carax puzzle. What emerges is an immersive and dreamlike portrait inspired by his singular artistic vision. Sit back and let yourself drift into the world of this unparalleled visual poet…

Mr. X will receive an exclusive engagement at Film Forum on August 15.

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