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Pola X

3.2 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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(Apr 10, 2001)
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Editorial Reviews

Based on Herman Melville's 1852 novel Pierre: or the Ambiguities, filmmaker LeosCarax (Lovers On The Bridge, Mauvais Sang) presents an ambitious tale of one man's search for the truth in a vague world. A young, successful author (Depardieu) is haunted by a recurring dream of a woman obscured in darkness. After discovering the identity of this mysterious figure, he finds his life spiraling downward into a world of lies, ambiguities and masquerades.

Special Features

  • Additional outtakes
  • Weblink
  • Production credits

Product Details

  • Actors: Guillaume Depardieu, Yekaterina Golubeva, Catherine Deneuve, Delphine Chuillot, Laurent Lucas
  • Directors: Leos Carax
  • Writers: Leos Carax, Herman Melville, Jean-Pol Fargeau, Lauren Sedofsky
  • Producers: Albert Prévost, Bruno Pésery, Dschingis Bowakow
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Fox Lorber
  • DVD Release Date: April 10, 2001
  • Run Time: 134 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Domestic Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • ASIN: B000059XTM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,197 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Pola X" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Leos Carax's POLA X is truly one of the most engaging films that have come out in the past decade. Throughout the movie Carax (Lovers on the Bridge, Boy Meets Girl) creates a visual poetry which is both innovative & contemporary. The film may create a sombre mood throughout but it engages you to a limit that you start looking at things the way Carax wanted you to.

I am inclined to write the review of this movie because of the various negative publicity & misleading reviews it has received over the years. True, this is not your usual run-on-the mill type even in the art house genre, but it is definitely worth a watch. POLA X( based on Herman Melville's "Pierre, or the Ambiguities") is actually an acronym of the French title of the movie "Pierre, Ou Les Ambiguities"[P-O-L-A]. The 'X' in POLA X derives from the shooting script being Carax's tenth draft of his screenplay. The protagonist Pierre(Guillaume Depardieu),a young novelist coming from a rich family & a prolific background, is writing his new novel but is falling short of new ideas. His otherwise mundane lifestyle turns upside down when he meets a disheveled dark haired girl, Isabelle (Golubeva), who resembles the girl he has been dreaming about for some time. She turns out to be his illegitimate sister, a secret he was kept in dark about for all these years. Pierre finds in her the inspiration for newer ideas & an opportunity to break out of his routine lifestyle. He breaks his engagement to his sweetheart Lucie (Delphine Chuillot) & embarks on a journey with Isabelle - to provide her with all the love, support & protection that the world has denied her & also to stimulate his own creative instincts.
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Format: DVD
Pola X is a love it or hate it experience. Motorcycles on winding roads it may have, but these roads are not called "Middle."
This film, brought to us by the same man who brought us the intense, passionate, uncomfortable film The Lovers on the Bridge in 1991, revisits some of the same territory of that film here. There is Desperation. Lust. Love. Blindness. Sight. Darkness. Light. Prosperity. Intense Poverty. Artists. Their Art. The Loss of that Art. The Incredible Need to Recapture It. Hunger. Satisfaction. Illness. Life. Death. Pain. Loss. Intense joy. Bitterness. Jealousy. Regret. All in all, the ingredients of what makes a Great, with a capital G Great, film.
Pola X has a light side and an incredibly dark and desolate one. The film starkly separates these sunny and shadowy pieces of our hero's life into two main segments. First we see the light. When the film opens, we meet Guillaume Depardieu, in his beautiful villa, with his beautiful mother, and his beautiful fiance. Next to all this is a beautiful little computer, next to which lies his beautiful little book, which he wrote when even younger, and which he became instantly famous for writing, a sort of cult figure. He is a beautiful young man who has everything. Except his writing, except his muse. Because he has reached a point in his life where everything is so stable and 'flat' that he is beginning to have trouble writing, creating, producing. And this is nagging at him, slightly, like a small child tugging softly at his arm for a piece of candy or a pat on the head. For a while, though, he is happy. Happy smoking a cigarette with his beautiful mother on the lovely sun-dappled lawn, and making love to his fiance with quiet passion in her young room in her own house.
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Format: DVD
Pola X is at once the most accessible and least interesting film from infant terrible Leos Carax. His modernised adaptation of Herman Melville's Pierre, or The Ambiguities is certainly less disjointed than his other features, but it lacks the inspired standout moments that make them worth watching even if they don't entirely work. If you're expecting something like the joyful sequence set to David Bowie's When I Live My Dream in Boy Meets Girl you'll be bitterly disappointed: this is a joyless film that wanders into unintentional self-parody without ever providing much to smile about. This is self-conscious Miserablism in the classic tradition.

It starts out as glacially classical French film-making before moving more into better photographed nouvelle vague with all the usual clichés - self-indulgent disaffected hero (Guillaume Depardieu) flirting with ill-defined violent politics in the pursuit of an equally ill-defined truth while constantly lying to himself; utterly hopeless leading lady (Katerina Golubeva) that either producer or director wants to have sex with delivering a pitifully bad and painfully stilted performance; 'daring' unsimulated sex scene (albeit featuring body doubles); clumsy symbolism and a bleak-chic ending you don't need to have read the book to see coming. There's an interesting note of criticism in the anti-hero's search for truth in poverty and his need to increasingly create a fiction to support his self-image (he persuades his sister to pose as his wife and his fiancé to pose as his sister and while desperate for money constantly refuses to touch the money he and his family have) and it earns Brownie points for its attitude to racism in France, but it's not quite enough. Jacques Rivette declared it the best French film of the last ten years, but I guess that just implies he doesn't see many French films these days.
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