Leos Carax made his second film when he was 25 years old, which featured Denis Lavant + Juliette Binoche, two of France’s greatest actors, also in their budding youth, and the juvenescence shows. Mauvais Sang is, in its content, very much about young genius amidst a powerfully, at times violently, patriarchal world, and the prevailing attitude underlying its form is, essentially, punk — Carax’s recklessly personal style in gleeful cahoots with the primal energies of Lavant + Binoche — as if the filmmakers were rebelling against the mainstream film industry that, more than often not, will exploit + stifle the youthful spirit of independents.
Personally I think plot is one of the most boring aspects of cinema to scrutinize, precisely because great films always exploit our expectations of plot in unconventional, at times uncomfortable, ways. So it's foreboding when my first gripe with Ravenous begins w that one plot trope in horror films that I find baffling, bewildering, and lazy: a soon-to-be-killed character wandering off. What's worse is that the one guy to do it here is a black male — I mean, has writer-director Robin Aubert never heard of the token-black-death stereotype in horror films? So why the fuck is Vezina wandering off? Why, Sway??
Oh boy, how do you begin to write, or even talk, about this behemoth? Well, for starters, it’s my first Béla Tarr film. I’ve always found his surname befitting given his films’ reputations as glacially — no, lugubriously — slow, kind of like … tar. *rimshot*
Anyone confused about what is happening is seeing the forest for the trees, or maybe needs to look up the definition of “allegory”.
If there’s ever something to complain about in this film, it’s certainly not that the story is confusing, but rather how obvious it turns out to be. The outrageousness of it all, the sheer bluntness of its point, arguably leaves cause for concern, because Aronofsky really goes for it, I mean, really takes it that far, to a point where you can either love it or hate it, depending on your mood + the day.
Fortunately, today, I bought it.