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2,855 Ratings

Mauvais sang

Directed by Léos Carax
France, 1986
Crime, Romance
  • French
  • Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish


Alex, an ex-con and the teenage son of a murdered criminal, is coerced by two former associates of his father into stealing the antidote to a deadly AIDS-like virus. As he falls for the crime boss’ mistress, a rival gang lurks in the shadows, also intent upon securing the precious serum.

Our take

Leos Carax’s second film, a hot blooded ‘80s potion of noir, gangster cinema, AIDS fears, and giddy romance. Its unforgettable cast features a young Juliette Binoche, Denis Lavant, Michel Piccoli and Julie Delpy, while its soundtrack includes David Bowie’s “Modern Love”, in a now-iconic scene.

Mauvais sang Directed by Léos Carax
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.
June 15, 2017
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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).
April 02, 2016
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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.
November 17, 2014
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