Marc (Michel Piccoli) recruits Alex (Denis Lavant), son of his former, now dead colleague. Alex is a card shark with a big dream to go out to the world and leave his own mark. His ...
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Paris by night. Alex, 22, wants to become a filmmaker. He is fascinated by first times and his girlfriend, Florence, has just left him for his best friend, Thomas. First break-up, first ... See full summary »
A young writer becomes intrigued with a mysterious dark-haired woman who claims to be his long-lost sister and he begin an unusual relationship with her prompting a downward spiral involving his domineering mother and lovely fiancée
The image of a mysterious, solitary filmmaker - a cineaste maudit - who flees from both the media and the public, is unrelentingly bound to the figure of Leos Carax, in France. Elsewhere, ... See full summary »
Mehdi Belhaj Kacem,
A provocative erotic drama, stylishly rendered by Andre Techine, who won the Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival for this compelling investigation into the intersection of sexual and artistic passion.
Jean, a farm lad, wants to escape his silent father; he runs to Paris to his older brother, Georges, who's away covering the war in Kosovo. Angry, he throws a bag of half-eaten pastry into ... See full summary »
The idea is simple: A married woman and a single man meet. They love, they argue, fists fly. A dog strays between town and country. The seasons pass. The man and woman meet again. The dog ... See full summary »
A disillusioned killer embarks on his last hit but first he has to overcome his affections for his cool, detached partner. Thinking it's dangerous and improper to become involved with a ... See full summary »
In 1997, for it's fiftieth anniversary, the Cannes Film Festival asked Leos Carax for a short film, a kind of postcard addressed to the festival, in which the director would give news of himself and of his film project "Pola X".
Marc (Michel Piccoli) recruits Alex (Denis Lavant), son of his former, now dead colleague. Alex is a card shark with a big dream to go out to the world and leave his own mark. His determination leads him to break up with his girl friend, Lise (Julie Deply). Alex initially refuses to help Marc and Hans for their "job" of stealing the culture of new drug. But Anna (Juliette Binoche)'s charm and beauty were irresistible. Alex joins the elders. Alex's dance to David Bowie's Modern Love illustrates unfolding emotions of young Alex moving into an adult (graying if not dying) world. The interplay among the generations, between genders, among social classes, memory and hopes, all played against black and white and occasional red back drop. Anna's cobalt blue robe punctuates the moment when Alex confesses his love for her. Written by
Life is splendid with him. He guides me so well. He requires of me very beautiful things, very rigorous. You know, he is self-taught. Yes, he has done it all. He looked at me with the eyes of an inventor, with the eyes of a researcher, like I was an invaluable discovery, as if I had the solution to something. Something secret and mysterious that is hidden deep inside him. Sometimes I get so close, so near, but more often I am light years away? Curious, isn't it? It's my life, this thing, this ...
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I am fascinated by Leos Carax. In more than 30 years he made just a handful of long films, but what films these are. Each of them reminds me when I get to see them why I love and I am fascinated by cinema, and what an art film making can be under the hands of a director who knows the secrets and ingredients of turning each film, and each scene in his films in something different, something that charms, shocks, can be enjoyable or repulsive, but cannot leave us indifferent.
Mauvais Sang (Bad Blood is the literal translation) will be 30 years old next year. Yet it is not only as fresh as it was made yesterday, but it also has the quality that will make it relevant 30, 60, and 90 years from now (I do not make bets about future that extend between one century :-) ). It's a gangster story in the French tradition, Melville's movies come to mind immediately, and the fact that some of the bad guys are American is actually also a French noir films tradition. Although the making of the film is closer to David Lynch's peak period, 'Mauvais Sang' precludes the best of what Tarantino will make 10 or 15 years later. I actually have almost no doubt that both Lynch and Tarantino saw this film several times and were deeply inspired by it. It is however more - it is a double love story, or two love stories which are sensitive and beautifully told. And then, the final scene makes - so it seems to me - a reverence to 'Casablanca'.
What gives such quality to 'Mauvais Sang'? First, the actors. Michel Piccoli- at the edge of seniority, playing the gangster - combinator whose combines not always succeed best. Breathtakingly beautiful and young Juliette Binoche in one of her first major roles. And, of course, Denis Lavant, Caras's best acting asset ever. Then the cinematography. I do not know how much we owe to Caras and how much to the director of cinematography Jean-Yves Escoffier but almost each shot is a piece of art, and the colors combinations are sublime and uniquely expressive - just watch the repeated combinations of blue, white and red! There are the ingredients, but the ultimate merit belongs without doubt to Leos Carax, a master chef of the French cinema.
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