Mauvais Sang

Director: Leos Carax
Year Released: 1986
Rating: 2.0

"The lips of your belly pumped my engine?" This is but one example of the kind of vacuous dialogue that permeates Carax's second feature film, which is all pulse and no brains. I had a similar complaint with Soderbergh's Traffic and Aronofsky's Requiem for a Dream: namely, all are great visual works that tinker with the way films are presented, but I couldn't shake the idea that all these filmmakers' mental energy is expended in that sole area, leaving aside the emotional or intellectual aspects of moviemaking as meddlesome junk. In Les Amants du Pont-Neuf, Carax's style and storytelling would reach their high point, and the result was the closest France came to its own Apocalypse Now: garish, passionate, expensive and misunderstood. If Les Amants is a masterpiece of romantic obsession and raging jealousy (and how the 'other's' interests sometimes become irrelevant and are to be sacrificed for personal pleasure) this is its undeveloped first draft, with such a weak 'story' that Carax almost forgets to include it (the let's-get-this-AIDS-serum part is left to the last thirty minutes).