Ex–enfant terrible Leos Carax takes the ingredients of melodrama—family secrets, persecuted innocents, forbidden love, betrayal—and scrambles them into an audacious postmodern opera of artistic angst. Pierre (Guillaume Depardieu) is a leisure-class, “voice of his generation” writer who gets sucked into a through-the-looking-glass rabbit hole of underclass grime and incest when he encounters an Eastern European war refugee (Yekaterina Golubeva) claiming to be his long-lost sister. Like the novel that inspired it—Herman Melville’s controversial Pierre; or, The Ambiguities—this enigmatic, unrestrained film maudit was met with divisive skepticism upon its release, but today looks more and more like an essential work of blazingly personal vision.