Kylie Minogue at Cannes in bizarre 'Holy Motors'
Actress Kylie Minogue listens during a press conference for Holy Motors at the 65th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Wednesday, May 23, 2012. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
CANNES, France (AP) — Holy cow. The most rapturous audience reception at the Cannes Film Festival has gone to "Holy Motors," a disorienting, whirling dream of a movie by French director Leos Carax.
Starring Denis Lavant as a man who adopts a dozen wildly different personas during the course of a long Paris day, the film includes surrealist scenes, tender moments, a song by pop star Kylie Minogue and the unexpected appearance of bonobo monkeys.
The film, which has its red-carpet gala on Wednesday, drew whoops and cheers at the end of its first press screening — but left other baffled viewers shaking their heads.
Actors Denis Lavant, left and Kylie Minogue pose during a photo call for Holy Motors at the 65th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Wednesday, May 23, 2012. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan)
"This is what we have all come to Cannes for," said The Guardian newspaper's ecstatic five-star review. Screen International was less impressed, judging the film "a self-conscious upmarket weird-out."
"Holy Motors" is Carax' first feature since the experimental romance "Pola X," which screened at Cannes in 1999, to equally divided opinion. "Holy Motors" is one of 22 films competing for the festival's Palme d'Or.
It's a dramatic return — but don't ask Carax what he wants the public to take away from the film.
"I don't know. Who is the public? All I know is that it is a bunch of people who will be dead very soon," said the director, waving an unlit cigarette at a Cannes press conference. "I don't make public films, I make private films."