Leos Carax

Scen.: Leos Carax. F.: Jean-Yves Escoffier. M.: Nelly Meunier, Francine Sandberg. Mus.: Jacques Pinault. Scgf.: Serge Marzolff, Jean Bauer. Int.: Denis Lavant (Alex), Mireille Perrier (Mireille), Carroll Brooks (Helen), Elie Poicard (Bernard), Maïté Nahyr (Maïté), Christian Cloarec (Thomas), Hans Meyer (l’astronaute), Anna Baldaccini (Florence), Jean Duflot (Bouriana). Prod.: Patricia Moraz per Abilène Productions. DCP. D.: 104’. Col.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

Early Jarmusch (Permanent Vacations) is what springs to mind in Boy Meets Girl: in the latter, we see the last night of a young man in Paris before he leaves for his military service; in the former, the last two days of an American in New York before his trip to Europe. Wanderings, encounters, solitude, the haunting presence of the big city, existential and romantic anxiety. We also encounter the obvious influences, notably Godard and Garrel. But what amounted to conformity ten years ago is today a manifesto of aesthetics, the will to break with prevailing conventions. A fractured film, a succession of fragments, probably autobiographically inspired. Boy Meets Girl is, of course, uneven, like all works of its genre. But one is struck by its structural feel, the assurance coming from the visuals and from the role of voice and sound. This extended monologue, where unabashed sexual confession brushes up against quotidian trivialities, is sustained by an entire cinematic and literary tradition, but it also expresses an authentic malaise of living in an insipid nocturnal Paris. Among Carax’s many visual ideas was his use of space to record his character’s biography: a map of Paris on Alex’s bedroom wall on which he has written down all of the firsts in his young life. Gems such as these – and this film is teeming with them – are the mark of a true filmmaker.

Michel Ciment, “Positif ”, n. 281-282, July-August 1984


With Boy Meets Girl and Mauvais Sang, Carax was soon considered the Rimbaud of the 1980s. […] In both cases, the references to the films of the great auteurs imply a vivid and raw sensitivity that truly constitutes a new departure in these films. Carax audaciously casts his net wide, trusting in his naive vision of impassioned lovers to lend coherence to a patchwork that places treasured gems of the seventh art at the service of a poetics of beauty, while Beineix and Besson favour the glitziness of publicity audio-visuals. Either way, the relationship to reality is altered, but in Carax’s case, by aesthetic means and not through technical effects (image, decor, editing) as with the other two. A quarter of a century after the New Wave, Carax rediscovers that spirit of breaking new ground, without copying it to the letter. Images and feelings from his own lifetime take form unfettered by any sense of indebtedness to nostalgia, the power of the imagination extolling the utopia of characters breaking with an oppressive brand of realism that tends to veer towards the anecdotal and notions of morality. Nothing is true but everything is right.

René Predal, Le jeune cinéma français, Nathan, Paris 2002

Copy from Thèo Films.
Restored in 4K in 2021 by Théo Films at L’Image Retrouvée laboratory, from the original camera negative