Mauvais Sang (brand-new DCP, 3/8)

Mauvais Sang is the work of a filmmaker in love with the possibilities of filmmaking, in love with his characters, the actors playing them, their faces and expressions, and Carax puts everything in service of them.” — The Digital Fix

1980s French cinema never achieved a sweeter, higher giddiness than Mauvais Sang, an electric mixture of French New Wave elasticity, the Coen Brothers’ stark staging, the intense melodramatic pyrotechnics of Douglas Sirk, and the hyper-colored flair of old Hollywood musicals. Less concerned with the machinations of his gangster film plot than bouncing the audience along an unending, uncoiling chain of blissful genre “moments”, Carax-as-puppetmaster glides us along the near-future story of a teenage hoodlum tasked with stealing the vaccine for an AIDS-like romantic malady, and afflicted with a deadly attraction to his employer’s young girlfriend. The cast is super-strong (Denis Lavant, Juliette Binoche, Julie Delpy, Michel Piccoli), and Carax’s visual vocabulary is even stronger, with an infectious zeal for the filmmaking process itself pouring forth from every single perfectly-framed shot. This is the Carax who is later felt in the even-more impossible heights of Holy Motors, and this is the Carax who rightfully earned his place as one of France’s greatest emerging talents of the Eighties.
Dir. Leos Carax, 1986, DCP, 116 min.

Watch the trailer for “Mauvais Sang”!
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