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L’Amour braque ("Limpit Love")

  • France
  • 1985
  • 101 mins
  • 35mm
  • French
Hosted by Director Andrzej Zulawski

“Frighteningly kinetic… never less than cinematic poetry direct from the gut” - John White, THE DIGITAL FIX

A bank heist in Disney masks... A flamethrower-wielding henchman... A car chase down Rue Rivoli... A girl giving head in a blood-red boudoir... L'AMOUR BRAQUE is probably the most un-French film you will ever see. Andrzej Zulawski transposes Dostoevsky’s “The Idiot” from 19th-century Saint Petersburg to 20th-century Paris — with devastating results. The film charts the disastrous consequences of a holy innocent cut loose in a cruel, cynical world. Sophie Marceau (here in her first film for grown-ups) plays Marie, a beautiful but damaged prostitute torn between the all-consuming passion of a brutal hoodlum (Tchéky Karyo) and the kindness of a penniless Hungarian émigré (Francis Huster), who is quite possibly insane...

Stunningly photographed by Jean-Francois Robin, L'AMOUR BRAQUE reveals the glitzy highs and grubby lows of a rotten Paris about to explode. The cinematic equivalent of a terrorist’s bomb going off during rush hour, L'AMOUR BRAQUE is the “grown-up” comic book THE DARK KNIGHT could only dream of being...

Drawing on the visual language of French bande-dessinée (Enki Bilal fans will be in heaven), Zulawski’s most high-strung film also features the profane, lyrical and poetic dialogue of late, legendary French anarchist and songsmith Etienne Roda-Gil. Guttural argot, demented rhyming puns, maddeningly mixed metaphors, a torrent of quotations (encompassing everything from Russian drama, French decadent poetry and revolutionary manifestos) makes L'AMOUR BRAQUE sounds just as baroque as it looks. In many ways, it stands as a companion piece to Zulawski’s sophomore effort, DIABEL (1972) as a dreamlike questioning of rights and wrongs among the morally bankrupt. Neon strip lighting, pastel-coloured suits, pink-finned Cadillacs and spats (not to mention Marceau’s Louise Brooks bob) make L'AMOUR BRAQUE a crime film like no other, a postmodern riff on the Russian “yurodivy” (holy fool) by way of classic Hollywood gangster flicks and Busby Berkeley musicals. Arguably Zulawski’s most extreme film, L'AMOUR BRAQUE is a thoroughly uncompromising work that not only plays with genre tropes, but pushes its performers to their limits while demanding an unparalleled level of both emotional and intellectual investment on the part of the viewer. “Fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy night.”

— Daniel Bird