Mauvais Sang

This is overwhelmingly stylish. From the Denis Lavant dance sequence to the red-washed heist sequence to the overdramatic conversations and dialogue, it is just oozing a sort of superficial stylishness that sometimes works and sometimes feels pretentious. There is an essay or ten that can be eked out by the color schemes in the film, from the shadowy Paris streets to the deep reds and blues of some of the outfits to the aforementioned heist scene. it is a film very much concerned with the look of things, which is not entirely a bad thing in a visual medium.

But. But I wanted something a touch more from a plotline like this: two old crooks recruit the son of one of their former partners to steal the cure for a fatal sexually transmitted disease. That this film was made in 1986 suggests that a powerful and moving AIDS metaphor was living somewhere in this film, but what we are given is a brief description of the disease affecting those who have sex without love (in and of itself an idea worth exploring). Perhaps I missed something, but it definitely felt like it was just another stylistic flourish.

The other concept that I wanted more exploration of was the idea that Halley's Comet was somehow causing a heat wave that was leaving all the men shirtless and making the asphalt too hot to walk barefoot on even at night. That is a fascinating setting quality that admittedly got more time than the disease, but never really got further than an excuse for a few odd and interesting moments rather than something with greater meaning.

Sally Jane liked these reviews