Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Novo is the best film Christophe Honoré has ever been involved with. Honoré only co-wrote the script, though like all of his scripts, it's not very good. But that's alright, because it's not a Christophe Honoré film -- it's a Jean-Pierre Limosin film. So much of a Jean-Pierre Limosin film that one of its first images is of a pair of hands: a man shaking a vending machine.
Eduardo Noriega plays a sort of comic David Mackenzie character, a grating amnesiac who finds himself in convoluted scenarios: the horny boss, the temp who needs help with her bra, etc., etc., etc. The temp becomes his girlfriend -- though of course he can't remember her -- and then there's the problem of his wife and son, whom he can't recognize but who watch him from a distance. All of this, plus cameos by André S. Labarthe and Yoko Ono's Bottoms.
But really, none of these people and their worries matter. Limosin is interested in activity at a more basic level. I admire him because he doesn't need characters. He can make movies about the inner lives of lips, feet, thighs, nipples, fingers, breasts, or shoulders. Those are his characters, and the people they're attached to are his plots. A person walking down the street for Limosin is, more often than not, about what the feet are doing and not the direction the person is going. Novo isn't about love, and certainly not about sex: it's about a hand over another hand, a hand on a hip, someone else's thumb on your chin. You get the sense that, if he didn't have to get funding to make his movies, Limosin would get rid of these goddamn scripts and just film hands for two hours.