Boy Meets Girl

The definitive document of ‘80s underground French cinema, Boy Meets Girl was the exhilarating and tumultuously romantic debut by Leos Carax, a precocious and passionate 23-year-old cineaste soon to become his homeland’s leading bête noire and monstre sacré. Pairing the laconic, monochrome slapstick of Jim Jarmusch with a larger-than-life stylistic panache, Carax’s experimental melodrama stars Denis Lavant as a compulsive loafer whose post-breakup meanderings through nocturnal Paris draw him into the orbit of depressive beauty Mireille — whom he meets at a surreal house party, among astronauts and actresses, while she hides on the verge of suicide in the bathroom. In sequences both absurdly comic and profoundly romantic, these two unstable outcasts share Alex’s last moments of freedom together on the eve of his Army conscription. Culminating in a cataclysmic, violently poetic grand guignol finale, Boy Meets Girl is an essential page from the book of doomed French love; whether you’re tracing backwards from Desplechin or forwards from Godard, no history of cinematic amour fou is complete without it.
Dir. Leos Carax, 1984, 35mm, 100 min.

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