Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5
Original title: Mauvais Sang
France, 1986. Les Films Plain Chant, Soprofilms, FR3 Films Production, Unité Trois, Centre National De La Cinematographie, Sofima, Georges Reinhart Productions, Limbo Film AG, Sogedis. Screenplay by Leos Carax. Cinematography by Jean-Yves Escoffier. Produced by Alain Dahan. Production Design by Jacques Dubus, Thomas Peckre, Michel Vandestien. Costume Design by Dominique Gregogna, Martine Metert, Robert Nardone. Film Editing by Nelly Quettier.
Stunning but uninspiring romantic thriller by Leos Carax is a terrific trip back to the 80s new wave European cinema that fans of Diva can revel in. After Denis Lavant learns about his father’s suicide on the Paris Metro, he is recruited by his father’s mobster buddy (Michel Piccoli) to aid a heist in order to pay back an American boss (Carroll Brooks) to whom both the older men owed money.
Lavant agrees because of the cash reward, and is sidetracked from his goal by Piccoli’s beautiful girlfriend (a very young Juliette Binoche), with whom he strikes up a tender romance.
Carax blends all elements of the story, rough and soft, with exceptional ease, but there are too many scenes that stop and ponder the fate of the lovers that can be frustrating. Still, the innovative edits and gorgeous photography do provide a plus.
Berlin Film Festival Award: Alfred-Bauer Prize