The Night Is Young (Mauvais sang)

Film Review by Josh Slater-Williams | 01 Jul 2014
  • The Night Is Young
Film title: The Night Is Young
Director: Leos Carax
Starring: Denis Lavant, Juliette Binoche, Michel Piccoli, Julie Delpy, Hans Meyer
Release date: 23 Jun
Certificate: 15

If Leos Carax's 2012 film Holy Motors was a demented lament for 'the death of cinema', his 1986 sophomore feature The Night Is Young (known as Mauvais sang in its native France and almost everywhere else) represents the director at his most exuberant and punkish, channelling seemingly incompatible cinematic influences (Godard, Bresson, and the artifice of Hollywood stylist Vincente Minnelli) into a blissful brand of his own making.

While there is a compelling story for its framework, one that blends crime film tropes with some loose sci-fi elements, Carax largely tosses coherence out the window for a colourful rhapsody of emotional rapture, where even the simplest images or gestures take on an infectious intensity and restlessness. In its story, there is a virus transmissible between those who have sex without love. Carax's film, one of love made by someone abundantly in love with the medium, couldn't be accused of any lack of commitment.