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Cannes Virgin Diary 5: Post-Festival Reflections, “Holy Motors”

Cannes Virgin Diary 5: Post-Festival Reflections, "Holy Motors"

Cannes is over, and I’m writing this on a train to Paris.

Today, all the films in the main competition were screened once more so had I elected to stay another night in Cannes, I could have seen everything I wanted.

But instead, I chose to end my time at Cannes with one film: Leos Carax’s “Holy Motors,” which I had already been bullied into loving before I even saw it. And I did love it. Carax thinks big. He has come out of hiding after 12 years of artistic silence with his best film.

Holy flipping motors.

From scene to scene, the film surprised me. Animated dragon porn, a pervy leprechaun, a musical sequence featuring Kylie Minogue, a family of monkeys. What the hell is this movie? I am astonished, baffled, afraid. I loved it. From this description, “Holy Motors” sounds like a Baz Luhrmann movie. I might be onto something there. I’m not prepared to review this film right now. It’s still wrapping its way around my head.

I thought about going to “Paradies: Liebe” afterward, but did I really want a scathing indictment of sex tourism to be the last movie I saw at Cannes?

As I schlepped in the torrid heat from the Salle Debussy back to my apartment to clear out all remnants of my existence, I noticed things. I could see torn-down scaffolds outside the theaters, dismantled stages piled on street corners, the red carpet in a trash can, a man vacuuming the stairs at Le Palais. It was as if the whole infrastructure of the festival were suddenly laid bare, the spectacle torn from its star-studded galaxy and brought back down to Earth. I think I am ready to go back to Earth, too.

Before I left the city tonight, which was waterlogged by a downpour, filled with empty shops and streets, I thought about taking a last look around. I thought maybe, since I hate taking pictures, I should store some images in the old nostalgia bank. But no. I didn’t. I got the hell out of there.

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