Mauvais sang Screen 11 articles

Mauvais sang

1986

Mauvais sang Poster
  • Clarifies for me that Carax is a genius in short bursts, and hence not really cut out for feature-length narratives. Holy Motors' shape-shifting conceit was ideal, as it allowed him to leap from one outré idea to another without worrying much about forging plausible connections; here, the whole gangster/moll/virus story feels perfunctory to the point of irrelevance—strictly an excuse for a handful of dazzling setpieces.

  • The true sources of Carax's style are neither Truffaut nor Godard but the silent cinema--its poetics of close-ups, gestures, and the mysteries of personality, its melancholy, its silence, and its innocence. Bad Blood uses color with a sense of discovery similar to that found in the morbidly beautiful black and white of Boy Meets Girl, and the rawness of naked emotion and romantic feeling is comparably intense.

  • From the spectator’s point of view, the experience of the film is not at all incoherent, neither in form nor in content – aspects that, on the other hand, are not so delimited in Carax’s work. The overall sense of Mauvais sang is not at all uncomfortable, it holds a musical coherence...

  • The film is almost single-mindedly focused on cinema’s capacity to render affect with an immediacy and sensuality possible only through montage—a kind of thinking with the camera that harkens back to the silent era, whose aesthetics the film directly references during a non-sequitur sequence with inaudible dialogue and optically printed footage.

  • After watching the former street performer Levant, bursting with romantic fervor, run down to the street and execute a cartwheel with Gene Kelly–worthy grace to “Modern Love,” you will never think of the Bowie song the same way again. (Just ask Noah Baumbach, who paid explicit homage to the scene in Frances Ha.) This is film-drunkeness at its most inebriated.

  • Perhaps the most soaring, touching moment in last year's Holy Motors — a movie steeped in melancholy yet gloriously alive — occurs when Kylie Minogue's character sings, "Who were we/When we were/Who we were/Back then?" The answer to this question from Leos Carax's fifth film is discovered while watching his second, Mauvais Sang (1986), a salute, at once moody and ebullient, to the cinema of the past and the ferocious intensity of youth.

  • This is a film beyond story, one characterized by an infatuation with the medium itself: the edit, the close-up, the camera angle, movement, colors. Carax uses these tools to vivaciously celebrate cinema, as well as Lavant and Binoche (who he was romantically involved with), and his love for both is infectious. For the filmmaker, love is the reason for life...

  • If you think of the great works of French movie romanticism... you’ll find they’re linked not by any style of filmmaking. Rather, the lovers, whether because of youth or class or criminal impulses, all lie outside of mainstream respectability... In some ways, Carax’s career has been a struggle to keep believing in that kind of romanticism when the difficulties of life or work intervene. Mauvais sang is its purest expression.

  • Generally, the film plays its stylish exterior against itself, exposing the hollow technical skill of Carax's nominal peers as being a corrosive element of cinema that can contain rich reservoirs of character but rarely does. Mauvais Sang dazzles with its imagery, but it's also one of the most humanistic works of a decade that could have used more of them.

  • Not only is Carax's poetic impulse uninhibited, the poetry itself is totally unfettered from a dominant system. Mauvais sang's sense of symbolism is Cubist. Dozens of discrete signs and motifs stack, overlap, recombine, adhere, toppling over each other. It's exhilarating—and not only for the audience: watch Alex/Lavant/Carax careening down the street, frenzied with desire for his partner-in-crime's young lover, Anna (Binoche, flirty and unselfconscious like the Anna Karina her bob cut cites).

  • A masterpiece of ecstatic cinema from 1986, directed by Leos Carax at the age of twenty-five... With an emotional world akin to that of the New Wave masters, a visual vocabulary that pays tribute to their later works, and a visionary sensibility that owes much to Jean Cocteau’s fantasies, Carax suggests the burden of young genius in a world of mighty patriarchs who aren’t budging.

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