5.8/10
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Pola X (1999)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 9 October 1999 (Japan)
A young writer becomes intrigued with a mysterious dark-haired woman who claims to be his long-lost sister and he begin an unusual relationship with her prompting a downward spiral involving his domineering mother and lovely fiancée

Director:

Leos Carax
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Guillaume Depardieu ... Pierre
Yekaterina Golubeva ... Isabelle / Pierre's half-sister
Catherine Deneuve ... Marie / Pierre's mother
Delphine Chuillot Delphine Chuillot ... Lucie / Pierre's cousin
Laurent Lucas ... Thibault
Patachou ... Margherite
Petruta Catana Petruta Catana ... Razerka
Mihaella Silaghi Mihaella Silaghi ... The Child
Sharunas Bartas ... The Chief
Samuel Dupuy Samuel Dupuy ... Fred
Mathias Mlekuz Mathias Mlekuz ... TV presenter
Dine Souli Dine Souli ... Taxi driver
Miguel Yeco Miguel Yeco ... Augusto
Khireddine Medjoubi Khireddine Medjoubi ... Cafe owner's son
Mark Zak Mark Zak ... Romanian friend
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Storyline

Pierre, a young man of privilege, whose anonymously-published novel is a hit and who's about to marry his blond cousin, Lucie, abandons all when a dark-haired vagrant tells him her secret late one night in the woods: that she is Isabelle, his sister, abandoned by their father. Pierre breaks off with Lucie and his doting mother, heading for Paris with Isabelle, intent on knowing the dark side of human nature. He begins a novel, sending chapters under a pseudonym to his publisher; his relationship with Isabelle moves beyond the fraternal; and, in winter, the frail Lucie comes to live with them. Family jealousies mount, and Pierre may have discovered despair instead of the truth. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Atlanta Filmes (Portugal)

Country:

France | Switzerland | Germany | Japan

Language:

French

Release Date:

9 October 1999 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Pierre oder Der Kampf mit der Sphinx See more »

Filming Locations:

North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

FRF71,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Pola is an acronym for "Pierre ou les ambiguites," the French translation of the title of the Herman Melville novel on which the film is based. See more »

Quotes

Margherite: Be careful! You dream of writing a mature work, but your charm lies in your thorough immaturity. You dream of setting fire to God knows what, of rising above your times like a dazzling cloud, leaving everyone terrified and admiring. But you weren't born for that, Pierre! You don't even believe it yourself.
See more »

Alternate Versions

An alternate longer TV version entitled "Pierre ou les ambiguïtés", edited in three one-hour episodes was shown for the first time on September 24, 2001 on 'Arte', the German-French TV channel. It has not been released yet. The 3-episodes-version is not only longer, but also closer to Carax' original concept, that the film should consist of 3 distinct parts: "The film was thought to be in three parts, three chapters. There's the one chapter in the countryside, called 'In the Light.' I knew this chapter would be light, it would be green and white, green for nature. I dyed all of the actors' hairs blonde and put them in white shirts. (...) So the film is going from light to darkness and rust. (...) So there was a conscious [decision] of going from light to dark, and from 35mm to 16mm." (Sept. 2000) See more »

Connections

Referenced in Minority Report (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Iza Kana Zanbi
Written by Assi Rahbani (as Assy Rahbany) and Mansour Rahbani (as Mansour Rahbany)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Violence, explicit/deviant sex and other shock used to propel story
5 June 1999 | by El NorteSee all my reviews

Imagine the 2,500 seat Lumiere Theatre at Cannes dead silent. No one breathed as the incestuous sex scene began.

Understandably, half of the audience applauded as others booed the close of this film. The innovations in sound are remarkable, and locations stunning, but the crawling pace of a youthful cult leader's slow descent and eventual destruction of everyone near to him is arduous business. Thankfully it is broken up by strange twists of circumstance which justify those tortured looks from monolithic Deneuve and Depardeiu. It's just a bit of a shame that such traditional shock elements (an exploding head, a beautifully choreographed motorcycle accident) are precisely what the audience lives for to lift the weight of the rest of the picture. Carax's reply to the press between long drags on a cigarette, "What explicit imagery?" told me the rest of the story.


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