Mauvais Sang

Juliette Binoche covered in shaving cream

French neo-noir at its most stylish, Mauvais Sang (confusingly it also goes by the titles The Night Is Young and the more literally translated Bad Blood) was Leos Carax’s second feature, the enfant terrible of French cinema still only a youthful 26 in 1986 when the film was made. The majority of his cast are pretty young too. We’re seeing early outings for Denis Lavant (25), Juliette Binoche (22) and a very young Julie Delpy (she’s about 15 here, having debuted the year before for Jean-Luc Godard in Detective). If you read any plot precis it’ll tell you that the action is set in some version of the future, where a virus is … Read more


Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard

The formidably talented maverick Leos Carax hasn’t made a feature in nine years, nothing since 2012’s batshit Holy Motors, so that’s one thing to thank the new movie Annette for. Whether Annette actually is a Carax movie at all is the question though. How so, you ask. Because Annette is written by Ron (he of toothbrush moustache) and Russell (he of swooping voice) Mael, the brothers behind Sparks, the US band that bounced into the zeitgeist in 1974 with the song This Town Ain’t Big Enough for the Both of Us, and has returned, comet-like, every few years since with material ear-catching and interesting enough to win new fans. Originally bracketed with the … Read more

28 January 2013-01-28

holy motors04

Out in the UK This Week Holy Motors (Artificial Eye, cert 18, Blu-ray/DVD) From Leos Carax, who only seems to manage one feature film a decade, a unique and remarkable French film that only starts to make sense towards the end, after Kylie Minogue has sung us a song. Like Pola X, his last (in 1999), it’s a highly gothic, amphetamine rave of a movie, a mad mix of situationist vignettes following Denis Lavant (who surely should get some award for sheer physicality) as he works his way through a series of disguises, one of which involves being dressed as a mad tramp and kidnapping a model from a photo shoot (played by … Read more