Pola X

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Pola X
Pola X (movie poster).jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byLeos Carax
Produced byBruno Pésery
Screenplay byLeos Carax
Jean-Pol Fargeau
Based onPierre: or, The Ambiguities
by Herman Melville
StarringGuillaume Depardieu
Yekaterina Golubeva
Catherine Deneuve
Music byScott Walker
CinematographyEric Gautier
Edited byNelly Quettier
Distributed byAMLF
Release date
  • 13 May 1999 (1999-05-13) (Cannes)
  • 7 October 1999 (1999-10-07) (Switzerland)
  • 9 December 1999 (1999-12-09) (Germany)
  • 19 September 2001 (2001-09-19) (France)
Running time
134 minutes[1]
Budget$11 million
Box office$791,919[2]

Pola X is a 1999 French romantic drama film directed by Leos Carax and starring Guillaume Depardieu, Yekaterina Golubeva and Catherine Deneuve. The film is loosely based on the Herman Melville novel Pierre: or, The Ambiguities. It revolves around a successful young novelist who is confronted by a woman who claims to be his lost sister, and the two begin a romantic relationship. The film title is an acronym of the French title of the novel, Pierre ou les ambiguïtés, plus the Roman numeral "X" indicating the tenth draft version of the script that was used to make the film.

The film was entered into the 1999 Cannes Film Festival.[3] Pola X has been associated with the New French Extremity.


Pierre (Guillaume Depardieu) lives with his sister Marie (Catherine Deneuve) in a chateau in Normandy by the riverside of the Seine. They are very beautiful, rich, carefree and they like themselves. Every morning, Pierre leaves on the inherited bike of his father to visit Lucie, his fiancée. One night, Marie announces to Pierre that she arranged the date for his marriage to Lucie. Pierre leaves to announce the good news to his fiancée. On the way, in the forest, a funereal beauty appears. She speaks with a strong accent from the countries of the East: "Pierre...you are not the only child, I am your sister, Isabelle." A passionate incestuous relationship will ensue.



The soundtrack was produced by Scott Walker and features some instrumental tracks by him, as well as contributions by Sonic Youth and Bill Callahan, who also has a cameo appearance in the film.

Alternative version

An alternate longer TV version entitled "Pierre ou les ambiguïtés", edited in three episodes with an additional 40 minutes of footage, was shown for the first time on 24 September 2001 on Arte German-French TV channel.[4] The episodes were titled A la lumière, A l'ombre des lumières and Dans le sang.

Carax edited the TV version along the lines of serials from his childhood, in particular Vidocq.[5] The new scenes in the alternative version were produced during the original shoot with extra money raised by producer Bruno Pesery to allow them to exceed their contractually agreed 140 minute running time.[6] The new sequences explore the dreams of Peter and his relationship with his mother, sister and fiancee. In an interview with Jacques Morice, Carax stated that "it is not an "extended version" or a "final version" of the film "Pola X", but a different proposition for television."[6]

See also


  1. ^ "POLA X (18)". British Board of Film Classification. 10 March 2000. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  2. ^ "Pola X (1999)- JPBox-Office". jpbox-office.com. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
  3. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Pola X". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 7 October 2009.
  4. ^ "Pola X (1999)". IMDb. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
  5. ^ "Entretien avec Leos Carax, à propos de la version télé de "Pola X"". telerama.fr. 26 June 2012. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
  6. ^ a b http://download.pro.arte.tv/archives/fichiers/01379750.pdf

External links