>Mauvais Sang (1986)

Today, I’m shifting away from horror and continuing a loose Bowie theme. The clip I have chosen from Leos Carax’s 1986 film Mauvais Sang (Bad Blood) features an impassioned interpretation of David Bowie’s Modern Love by lead actor Dennis Lavant . It was finding this clip online that got me thinking about writing a series of articles/post based on music and film. This was the spark, the impetus as it took my breath away when I saw it.

Unfortunately, I’ve yet been able to track down this film and view it as a whole piece but even if I was to only ever see these five minutes of cinematic bliss, that would be enough. As in Les Amants du Pont Neuf, Carax depicts the intense, overpowering sensation and pain of love through an inspired, bold combination of music and movement. It is balletic yet retains a roughness, an awkwardness that gives it an authentic feel while staying in the realm of of a cinematic dream.

Here, the radio takes over as a form of communication between two disconnected souls, two weary lovers. They first hear is J’ai pas Regrets’ by French-Italian chanteur Serge Regianni, i’ts regretful melancholy reflecting the surface mood and underlying emotions between them. It then segues into Bowie as Lavant runs along a deserted street, wrestling with himself, grappling with his feelings. His movements are jerky, both inside and outside the rhythm of the song, the underlying ambivalence within the song connecting with his own. The music, his motions are an affirmation, a release. His soul is dancing.