Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Boy Meets Girl (1984 film)

Written and directed by Leos Carax, Boy Meets Girl is the story of a unique relationship between an aspiring filmmaker and a suicidal woman as they’re both coping with failed relationships. The film is an exploration of two people dealing with heartbreak as they bond through that while embarking on a relationship with each other. Starring Denis Lavant and Mireille Perrier. Boy Meets Girl is an odd yet captivating film from Leos Carax.

The film is an unconventional story that explores two different people who both get dumped by their lovers and then meet at a party where they share their heartbreak. That is essentially the plot of the film as it’s one where its auteur Leos Carax refuses to delve into any kind of convention as its first half is about Alex (Denis Lavant) and Mireille (Mireille Perrier) both dealing with heartbreak as the former is an aspiring filmmaker trying to make sense of what happened. The latter is a model who has no idea what to do as she wants to get over being dumped. The two would meet at a party that Mireille is invited to as Alex would crash the party by accident where the second half is about the party and that meeting. It is a film that a very unconventional structure where not much happens yet it does play into the idea of loneliness and uncertainty for two people who are ravaged by heartbreak.

Carax’s direction is very stylish not just in the presentation he creates but also in how he starts the film where a woman is driving around with a child as she calls her former lover where she would dump his stuff at the river. It sets the tone for what is to come as Carax doesn’t play by the rules as he would create some very entrancing close-ups and images that are very stylized. Even in the medium and wide shots have something that is engaging to watch in the way Carax plays into this exploration of heartbreak as both Alex and Mirieille are both teetering on the edge. Some of the elements of the party the two attend has this element of surrealism as if they’re in a world that is disconnected from what they’re dealing with. Carax would also create scenes that play into their sense of desperation while adding some ambiguity into their fate. Overall, Carax creates a very strange yet extraordinary film about heartbreak.

Cinematographer Jean-Yves Escoffier does fantastic work with the film‘s black-and-white photography as it adds a unique sense of style for many of the exterior scenes in Paris along with some of its interior lighting schemes to play with the mood of the film. Editors Nelly Meunier and Francine Sandberg do amazing work with the editing as it‘s very offbeat with its approach to jump-cuts and dissolves as some of it is dream-like as well as abrupt. Production designers Jean Bauer and Serge Marzolff do brilliant work with some of the set pieces from the party Alex and Mirieille attend with its very odd look for the kitchen to the apartment that Mirieille lives in.

The sound work of Patrick Genet and Jean Umansky do superb work with the sound from the way some of the things sound on location to the voiceover work that often appears in the film. The film’s music soundtrack consists of songs and music by Serge Gainsbourg, Jo Lemaire, and Jacques Pinalut along with music by the Dead Kennedys and David Bowie as it is wonderful for its mixture of melancholia and angst.

The film’s cast includes some small yet excellent performances from Christian Cloarec as Alex’s best friend Thomas, Elie Pocard as Mirieille’s ex-boyfriend Bernard, Anna Baldaccini as Alex’s ex-girlfriend Florence, and Carroll Brooks in a terrific performance as the offbeat host of the party. Mirieille Perrier is great as the somber Mirieille as this young model who likes to tap dance and listen to punk rock as she tries to deal with her ex-boyfriend and to see is she can really get over him. Denis Lavant is marvelous as Alex as this young aspiring filmmaker who tries to deal with his own heartbreak as well as trying to figure out how to contact his ex and figure out his future. Lavant and Perrier have superb chemistry together in the film’s second half as it showcases their own despair and the hope they might have.

Boy Meets Girl is a remarkable film from Leos Carax that features incredible performances from Denis Lavant and Mirieille Perrier. It’s a film that doesn’t just explore the world of heartbreak but told in a very unconventional manner that makes it very unique as it would display many ideas Carax would use in the years to come. In the end, Boy Meets Girl is a phenomenal film from Leos Carax.

Leos Carax Films: Mauvais Sang - Lovers on the Bridge - Pola X - Tokyo!-Merde - Holy Motors - Annette - The Auteurs #36: Leos Carax

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