this movie may come off as a simple love story, but let's face it, it's not. like most anything done by carax, it's more about film, and its semiological consequences, than anything else. this film, number three by carax, shows a strong truffaut influence, e.g. tirez sur le pianiste. though not as experimental as pola x, and not as indebted to godard as boy meets girl, there are clear tributes to vigo throughout. self-conscious, highly symbolic, intertextual. carax may be the finest director of his generation. just consider his very human treatment of lavant's character, for example. only truffaut, or maybe bresson, compares to that kind of characterization, though surely an ironic "realism" given the context of this film. all in all, this is a great achievement.