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Leos Carax, 1986
France | French with English subtitles | 116 minutes
Leos Carax made his international breakthrough with this swoon-inducing portrait of love among thieves. In the near future, an aging crime lord (Michel Piccoli) recruits young delinquent Alex (Denis Lavant) to steal a locked-up serum designed to fight a mysterious STD. When Alex falls for his boss’s girlfriend (a radiant Juliette Binoche), Mauvais Sang becomes something rarer: an ecstatic depiction of what it feels like to be young, restless and madly in love. With its balletic gestures and bold primary colors, much of the film plays as if through the eyes of its lovesick protagonist. And it hinges on one of the most thrilling scenes in modern movies: Lavant sprinting and cartwheeling through the Parisian night to David Bowie’s “Modern Love,” a bundle of desires set briefly and wildly free. A Carlotta US release.