Leos Carax second feature film Mauvais Sang (1986) is set in Paris in the near future. A mysterious new disease STBO is killing young people who make love without any emotional involvement. A serum has been developed but it’s locked away in an office block depriving those who desperately need it. Seeing the obvious financial gain an American women (Carroll Brooks) blackmails two ageing crooks Marc (Michel Piccoli) and Hans (Hans Meyer), who owe her a considerable sum of money, into stealing the valuable serum. To this end Marc recruits Alex (Carax regular Denis Lavant) a rebellious teenager whose father, Jean worked for Marc before he was killed. Complications ensue when Alex, who already has a girlfriend Lise (Julie Delpy), falls for Marc's young love interest Anna (Juliette Binoche)
|The wonderful Denis Lavant.|
|The Cesar nominated Juliette Binoche.|
This avant-garde film noir gave the very young looking Binoche her second Cesar nomination with Denis Lavant playing his part with a style which brings to mind a young prowling animal. The film is made up with what’s best described as 'strange interludes' and has an obvious Fassbinder influence, mainly I would suggest from his gangster period plus his trademark use of mirrors. The camerawork may be different but coupled with some superb use of colour and incidental music gives it an individualist feel for what Carax has become best known.