Written by: Michael Den Boer on November 13th, 2014
Theatrical Release Date: France , 1986
Director: Leos Carax
Writer: Leos Carax
Cast: Michel Piccoli, Juliette Binoche, Denis Lavant, Hans Meyer, Julie Delpy, Carroll Brooks, Hugo Pratt, Mireille Perrier, Serge Reggiani, Jérôme Zucca
BluRay released: November 18th, 2014
Approximate running time: 116minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 Anamorphic Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Mono French
BluRay Release: Carlotta Films U.S.
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $39.95
Synopsis: After the tragic and unexpected death of his father a young man named Alex is recruited by his fathers’ former colleges for a heist that involves stealing a culture of the vaccine from a drug manufacture and selling it to one of their competitors.
Content wise, though this film has a faint hint of Sci-Fi and often tips its hat to the Nouvelle Vague crime thrillers from the 1960’s. On the Sci-Fi angle there is a vaccine that protects those from a mysterious virus that attacks those who participant in loveless intercourse. While the crime thriller angle explores the heist that is required to obtained this vaccine. Another clear influence on this film is Alfred Hitchcock and this film’s allusive vaccine is nothing more than a MacGuffin. With that being said, Love remains the central theme in Mauvais Sang, Leos Carax follows up his exuberant debut Boys Meets Girl.
Narrative wise, once again things are anemic and feel like a series of loosely connected events. Fortunately there is a wealth of well-defined characters that ensure that there is never a dull moment. Visually there is an artificiality to the world that he has created for his characters. And his deliberate use of specific colors and meticulous framing of compositions greatly reinforces the mood he wants the subject matter to evoke.
Without a doubt this film most memorable moment involves its protagonist Alex while listening to the radio decides to an impromptu dance down the street to David Bowie’s Modern Love. Other standout moments visually include this film’s bittersweet finale and a fight scene between Alex and Mark and its use of music from Sergei Prokofiev’s ballet ‘Romeo and Juliet’. Also when discussing this film’s visuals one must not overlooking how mesmerizing its leading ladies Julie Delpy and Juliette Binoche looks throughout.
As mentioned before this film is overflowing with colorful characters that are always interesting to watch. And this in return carries over the performances of the cast who are all great in their respective roles. Cast once again in the role of the protagonist named Alex is Denis Lavant who once again gives a pitch perfect performance. Other performances of note include Julie Delpy (Killing Zoe, Before Sunrise) in the role of Lise, the woman who is in love with Alex and Juliette Binoche (The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Three Colors) in the role of Anna, the woman that Alex is in love with. Ultimately Mauvais Sang is a truly unique cinematic experience that is unlike anything that has come before or since.
Mauvais Sang comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. The source of this transfer is from a brand new 2k restoration. Colors look nicely saturated, flesh tones look accurate, black levels look solid and details look sharp throughout. There are no issues with DNR or compression and grain structure looks natural.
This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in French and also included with this release are removable English subtitles. There are no issues with background noise or distortion. Dialog comes through clearly, everything sounds balanced and robust when it needs too. Also when it comes to the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack are well represented.
Extras for this release include a slip cover, the original trailer for the film (2 minutes 17 seconds – 1080 Progressive, in French with English subtitles), the 2013 re-issue trailer for the film (1 minute 45 seconds – 1080 Progressive Widescreen, in French with English subtitles), a deleted scene (5 minutes 25 seconds – 1080 Progressive, in French with English subtitles), outtakes and rushes (20 minutes 21 seconds – 1080 Progressive) and a career spanning documentary about Leos Carax titled ‘Mister X’ (73 minutes 16 seconds – 1080 Progressive Widescreen, in French and English with English subtitles) with comments from actors Denis Lavant, Juliette Binoche, Mireille Perrier, filmmakers Jean-Luc Godard, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, composer Neil Hannon, critic Kent Jones, director of Cinémathèque française Serge Toubiana, president of Cannes Film Festival Gilles Jacob and Leos Carax. Overall Mauvais Sang gets an exceptional release from Carlotta Films U.S., highly recommended.