Jules is a young mail courier obsessed with an opera singer who objects to her voice being recorded. He manages to make a bootleg tape of her singing live, but when it gets mistaken for a tape containing vital evidence about a human trafficking investigation, he is chased all over the city by men who will do anything to retrieve it.
Beineix's Parisian love affair with image and sound, presented here in all its Widescreen glory, plays like the cinematic equivalent of Vogue.
Mixing thrills with romance, this is the classic 80s New Wave movie, one that hasn't been bettered either by Beineix or the many Gallic pretenders to his state-of-the-arthouse throne. What begins as a simple, typically European tale of a scooter-riding postie's obsession with a studio-shy black opera singer turns into a film noir-style thriller quicker than you can say Arc De Triumphe.
Soon hitmen and a knife-wielding skinhead are on the trail of the bootlegging music buff, and his life rapidly becomes enveloped in a nightmare from which there seems no escape. And all the more awe-inspiring for the fact that this was Beineix's debut feature, this gets the style/content equation exactly right. Quite stunning.
Incredibly stylish and visually ravishing arguably to a fault Jean-Jacques Beineixís audacious debut has aged well.