I really should have watched Leos Carax’s movies in chronological order, although watching Boy Meets Girl again doesn’t really appeal to my fragile mind. Anyhow, after a long recovery from viewing Pola X, I decided upon watching another one of his features, otherwise going by the title: Les Amants du Pont-Neuf.

At the beginning of this movie I was dreading something baring likeness to the enigmatic onslaught that was Holy Motors, something that I do intend to watch again someday, however, this film is thankfully linear and maybe I was recommended the worst possible Carax film to first delve into.

From the first ten minutes, you’re plunged into visual depictions of extreme poverty, something that brought Orwell’s Down & Out in Paris and London to the forefront of my mind. What’s interesting to me here is the Alex character, who appears in the majority of Carax’s films, generally becoming more deformed and terrifying throughout this director’s body of work – I’ll get around to writing about Tokyo! Eventually.

Directed & Written by Leos Carax

This film characterizes what was up until now a most enigmatic individual in my eyes, having only watched Holy Motors and the majority of Tokyo prior, although I do remember the lead in Boy Meets Girl also being called Alex (not sure)…maybe I’ll do my research one day, but for now, I’d rather remain confused.

The movie does a great job of illustrating just how difficult the night is in comparison to daytime in the life of a vagrant. The lighter scenes make the desolate setting beautiful, whilst the darker ones do otherwise. I kind of noticed this in Pola X.

And perplexed I definitely am forty minutes in, with two destitute characters seemingly bonding, or the male character chasing the homeless woman whom he seemingly loves. A certain mantra has come to mind, as I’m cooking some food before resuming the movie – and that’s if you’re chasing love, it’s most likely running away from you.

The question of how the daughter of a military general ended up in this position always remains somewhat oblique, although I’d put it down to the reasons of infatuation, like most things in Carax’s harrowing filmography.

Anyhow, I’ll return to this once I’ve finished it, already feeling rather certain it won’t top Pola X…but that’s not what this blog is about. The value of art should not be a democratic process, especially with most people who find the time to spout their bullshit online. Hypocritical, maybe!

Most of the time in this guy’s movies, characters are both running away from something and towards something simultaneously. Maybe that’s just life, I suppose.

Twenty minutes later I notice how this film’s drawing attention to just how much more difficult and precarious a situation it is for women to be homeless; with the vulnerabilities, you’d most often with ‘them’ in modern society. There is compassion between the three unsightly main characters and it’s as if they live in their own world on this temporarily abandoned bridge; or may as well, as alienated from society as they have become.

The value of love and affection above that of anything else for Alex is clear; as if he has already deduced that there is no materialism or comfort that can mask the void of reciprocal emotional intimacy…and once again, a Leos Carax film is forcing me to take a nap, so as to return to it with a mind prepared for whatever turmoil is so likely to engulf the already tragic leading roles.

Looking back at this retrospectively, both characters have pretty borderline traits and it works to explain Michèle’s understanding of Alex’s actions later on in the film. Acceptance, however? I don’t give too many spoilers.

Waking up at 6 pm struggling to find a reason to get out of bed or eat, I’ve managed to convince myself the last twenty-something years aren’t representative of how hopeless the latter half of my life will be and continue on with this film.

Drinking a green tea in vain, this movie represents the highest level of infatuation someone can face whilst devoid of anything else that brings them happiness in life other than that of love, with Alex going as far as throwing two thousand francs away whilst in a position where he can’t even afford shoes that fit him.

The elderly, a mostly well-intentioned character in this movie to some extent goes forgotten and I think this is intentional, it exemplifies the lack of empathy and the tragedy of the human condition. Man, I’m pretentious.

Self-harm, guilt-induced psychosis, and abandonment anxiety are tackled in this film in a way that’s relatable to everyone, no matter class or income. What was also interesting to me is how easy it is for one to portray themselves as ‘normal’ by aesthetic appearances in society, with their sufferance all the while remaining unknown and uncared for – that is, unless it’s with the ulterior motive of reciprocal affection, which ironically enough, is the only thing that would cure the protagonist in his dilapidated state.

The lead’s own insecurities or desperation seem to drive him to do the very thing that could possibly drive Michèle away and there’s a beautiful cohesion to this film of unexpected mutual understanding, looking back it retrospectively now…

I’ve still got half an hour to go with this one, so I’ll keep the remainder of my rantings to a minimum. It’s best I don’t allude to the conclusion of The Lovers on The Bridge too much, I was incredibly surprised myself. It depicts the selfish nature of love, the disregard for all else in the face of it (be it other relationships or the welfare of others). Most of all, it does what I like best when it comes to films of this caliber, it leaves room for you to ascertain the deductions the characters make and their silent emotions rather than spoonfeeding it to you.

Both characters are incredibly debased and immoral, but it’s almost justifiable. Cause and effect, I suppose.

Judging by the word count of this one, yeah, wow. Soberly recommend!