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In the Shadow of the Blue Rascal (1986)

À l'ombre de la canaille bleue (original title)
Necrocity, a city of nightly terrors and a place where even the authorities seem to reinforce this state of mayhem, as a way to impose cruel laws and the use of police brutality with ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Pierre Clémenti ...
Général Korzacouille / Flash
Achmi Gachem ...
Hassan, le bougnoule sexuel
Jean-Pierre Kalfon ...
Capitaine Speed
Simon Reggiani ...
Sim, l'assassin
Gérard Zalcberg ...
Inspecteur Chauve-souris
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Storyline

Necrocity, a city of nightly terrors and a place where even the authorities seem to reinforce this state of mayhem, as a way to impose cruel laws and the use of police brutality with efficiency. While most of the underground citizens are only concerned about pleasures, drinking, using drugs, partying hard and all, a huge load of heroin has gone missing, and that's another indicative that a terrible crime wave is on the rise. Written by Rodrigo Amaro

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In the Shadow of the Blue Rascal  »

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Final film directed by Pierre Clémenti. See more »

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One hell of a wild ride
30 June 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

In the Shadow of the Blue Rascal is an experimental crime movie. It is an hallucination that has not utilised the established toolkit and traditions of the crime genre in film. It reminded me very much of the writing of Jean Genet, particularly the movie treats Hassan in the same way that The Miracle of The Rose treats Harcamone, both are hagiographies in which crime is idealised, Hassan and Harcamone are presented as dark saints. I also thought a lot about WS Burroughs and his Cities of the Red Night, and the really overt presence of the supernatural and promotion of anarchy.

The plot is non-linear and often doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but vaguely we can say that what looks like Paris has become Necrocity, a place where the authorities have encouraged and even directly planned a crime wave, both for the sake of pleasure and also to justify the imposition of martial law by a Sade-ean police force. The whole city is some sort of skid row where people cling onto life and look forward to taking desperate pleasures where they can, drinking and shooting up, and dancing to crazy music in the night.

The movie took several years to complete, with work starting in 1979 and completion in 1985, according to the movie's afterword in the version I saw. It was shot on pretty much no budget, but manages to do more than exceptionally well. Special effects come down to tomato ketchup, and the violence is quite simulated. Even so the movie puts you into a trance that makes it all believable with a continuous poetic narration that is awed, the recycling of exceptionally well composed electronic musical motifs, and almost continuous use of superimpositions.

I am no expert in the politics of the era, but you don't have to be to note that he movie is criticising the treatment of Arabs in French society, or if not critiquing it, using it as a flavour for the movie. I sort of sat watching this movie giving free rein to my id, and it felt great. For people who would prefer to ignore the presence of their id, this movie may prove repugnant.


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