Claire Denis

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after watching Beau Travail i hereby decalre she's the best french director (and one of the best directors in general) working today.
the best editing ive seen in years in this movie, and a wonderful cinematography.
it's a miracle how she always keeps the balance between abstract and humanism, a combination that get it's ultimate expression at the final,dancing scene.

it was even better than 35 Shots Of Rum.

Zeno, Monday, 15 February 2010 01:47 (twelve years ago) link

looking back, the whole french horror film trend of women completely drenched in blood is largely her doing

鬼の手 (Edward III), Monday, 15 February 2010 03:38 (twelve years ago) link

^ film #40 in my 00s film ballot btw

鬼の手 (Edward III), Monday, 15 February 2010 03:39 (twelve years ago) link

She hasn't surpassed Chocolat (Beau Travail: I prefer my erotic contemplation a little more kinetic), but I can't wait to watch Rum.

Inculcate a spirit of serfdom in children (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 15 February 2010 03:40 (twelve years ago) link

this is weird because i was going to search for this thread today and forgot to. i just watched beau travail and you're right it's awesome. 35 shots of rum is in queue.

this is awful I want Togo home (harbl), Monday, 15 February 2010 03:40 (twelve years ago) link

my favorite director, i think. also i love beatrice dalle

chocolat was her most conventional though! haven't seen '35 shots of rum' yet, and there's a 2009 film as well the title of which escapes me.. was on film comment end of year list, the one of films that haven't been distributed in the US.

daria-g, Monday, 15 February 2010 05:47 (twelve years ago) link

it'a called White Material, and from early reviews it seems to go back to The Intruder style (as oppose to the more conventional and warm 35 Rums), but it's not as successful as the former.
it doesnt have a distributer for France or U.S yet, although Isabelle Huppert is in the cast.

Zeno, Monday, 15 February 2010 08:20 (twelve years ago) link

i've heard the opposite of reviews - it apparently occupies similar territory to chocolat and is great.

my favorite director, i think.

yeah. even 'minor' denis is great - looking back on the last few films i tend to forget trouble every day and vendredi soir, but they're both great, the latter in particular (& probably the closest to rhums)

has anyone seen her earlier, non-chocolat stuff? she made a docu on a french group called something like mannorun that's meant to be very good.

Norman Mail (schlump), Monday, 15 February 2010 12:11 (twelve years ago) link

two months pass...

35 Shots of Rum tonight!

Throwing Muses are reuniting for my next orgasm! (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 20 April 2010 20:55 (twelve years ago) link

still haven't seen it

i was listening to one of the cinema shows on france culture radio.. projection privee, they interviewed claire denis for the whole show the week of april 3. at some point the interviewer asked about the title of 'white material' and she told this funny story about someone at a screening who mistakenly called it 'white trash' and she was like well yeah kinda! she didn't work with agnes godard on that one, it was the cinematographer who usually works with dumont.

wears suburban hang-ups on her sleeve like some kind of corporate logo (daria-g), Wednesday, 21 April 2010 05:05 (twelve years ago) link

she is the head of jury in Canees 2010 Un Certain Regard

Zeno, Wednesday, 21 April 2010 22:29 (twelve years ago) link

well, Alfred?

I was kinda whelmed by White Material, and find Beau Travail a tad pretentious despite all the hot Legionnaires.

kind of shrill and very self-righteous (Dr Morbius), Friday, 23 April 2010 19:09 (twelve years ago) link

kind of shrill and very self-righteous

… (Lamp), Friday, 23 April 2010 19:54 (twelve years ago) link

i really like trouble every day but i like "cold" and "unflinching"

… (Lamp), Friday, 23 April 2010 19:55 (twelve years ago) link

four weeks pass...

<3 <3 <3

Gee, Officer (Gukbe), Friday, 21 May 2010 14:55 (twelve years ago) link

three weeks pass...

my favorite director, i think.

Mine, too.

35 Shots of Rum is perfect! Beau Travail is still her best, but Rum is up there. Alfred, I think Noé (Gregoire Colin's character) is much more sympathetic than you give him credit for. The key to the ending can be found in Ozu's Late Spring.

Cherish, Tuesday, 15 June 2010 00:18 (twelve years ago) link

I'm going to rewatch it.

Is The Intruder worth a soak?

Filmmaker, Author, Radio Host Stephen Baldwin (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 15 June 2010 15:19 (twelve years ago) link

The Intruder is definitely worth watching. It's much less linear than her other films. I'm not even sure what happens in it, especially in the second half. But, it's beautiful and fascinating, and, by the end, I felt like I was beginning to understand some things about the characters, even if I couldn't tell what parts of the movie were real and what were imagined/dreamed.

Cherish, Wednesday, 16 June 2010 00:08 (twelve years ago) link

"The Intruder is definitely worth watching"


very interesting film. while not everything works - some of the images (which are mainly about crossing physical and mental borders) are perfect.

Zeno, Thursday, 17 June 2010 09:17 (twelve years ago) link

White Material is quite something... with Denis i'm never sure what the hell to think but "quite something" is usually about the extent of what i can come up with. it's very Denis, very immersive, it drops you right in in the middle of a situation and allows you to work things through or not depending on how involved you get. i was actually floundering for most of the film, trying to make the connections (on as simple a level as trying to work out who the hell people are as well as trying to fit together the deeper political social and familial framework). stylistically i would say it occupies an exact middle ground between chocolat and l'intrus. definitely worth seeking out.

jed_, Friday, 18 June 2010 23:49 (twelve years ago) link

In terms of actors we have Huppert and Christopher Lambert, who i haven't seen in years. almost every other major part, and some of the minor ones, is played by an actor who has been in a Denis film before. Issac de Bankole, Michel Subor, Nicolas Duvauchelle, Adèle Ado...

DS: You use a lot of the same actors repeatedly, which creates a kind of ongoing dialogue between each of your films.

CD: It's not a career decision. When a film is over, I am missing those people, I want them a little more. One film is not enough with them, so we need another one. And it's the same with the people I'm working with. Like Agnés. I never have enough of them. I think life offers a lot of variation and diversity, but I enjoy this diversity with the people I like. We glance at each other and we know what we are doing without a word because we trust each other. And this feeling is great. And it doesn't mean it makes things easy, because also this sort of trust is very demanding. The need is always never to be frustrated, never to be tired of working together.

jed_, Saturday, 19 June 2010 00:00 (twelve years ago) link

was gonna see 35 shots of rum on netflix but it's coming to a theater near me so i will wait. pumped tbh

Hans-Jörg Butt (harbl), Saturday, 19 June 2010 01:11 (twelve years ago) link

White Material is showing here in a coupla weeks. 35 Rhums was great.

admrl, Saturday, 19 June 2010 01:25 (twelve years ago) link

one month passes...

I really enjoyed White Material, but found it to be rather simple. It could be the structuring which leads to a mood of foreboding (Tindersticks help massively here). While it is complex, I think it has a very particular view on colonialism and Huppert's character that is unbending. Really great film, all in all, but not up to the standard of 35 Shots of Rum (which I saw at the cinema again tonight), which has a magnificent ambiguity in regards to its central theme.

orakle-krake (Gukbe), Tuesday, 27 July 2010 23:07 (twelve years ago) link

vendredi soir is still the only denis I've seen - it was so slight I just ignored her afterwards

have l'intrus and 35 shots sat here tho to watch as soon as I've digested assayas' carlos

cozen, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 23:20 (twelve years ago) link

get with the program, cozen

orakle-krake (Gukbe), Tuesday, 27 July 2010 23:21 (twelve years ago) link

hopefully white material will show in my crap town...can't get enough of huppert especially in a denis film...

markholmes, Wednesday, 28 July 2010 02:57 (twelve years ago) link

Really great film, all in all, but not up to the standard of 35 Shots of Rum (which I saw at the cinema again tonight), which has a magnificent ambiguity in regards to its central theme.

Gukbe, what do you mean by ambiguity in Rum? The only Denis film where I see real ambiguity is L'Intrus.

Cherish, Wednesday, 28 July 2010 14:56 (twelve years ago) link

Well, no plot ambiguity, just character motivation as well as a twisting of the running theme of family and letting go. It seems to me (for a myriad of reasons, really) that Josephine SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS marries Noé to keep their family unit together. The bond and the strength and the comfort they've taken from those relationships might prevent Lionel or another one of them from ending up like René, but at the same time traps them.

orakle-krake (Gukbe), Wednesday, 28 July 2010 15:24 (twelve years ago) link

Got it. Thanks. I interpret their motivations differently, but I see where you're coming from. And, there's some of the same sort of ambiguity of motivation in Ozu's Late Spring!

Cherish, Wednesday, 28 July 2010 15:43 (twelve years ago) link

three weeks pass...

anyone see no fear, no die? outside shorts and the rivette docu it's my one blank spot.

schlump, Tuesday, 24 August 2010 22:08 (eleven years ago) link

I have. It's worth seeing, though it's lesser Denis. Isaach de Bankolé and Alex Descas give good, intense performances, as you'd expect. It has an extremely claustrophobic atmosphere, where seething resentments and racial tensions contribute to a man's slow breakdown. See it!

Cherish, Wednesday, 25 August 2010 16:07 (eleven years ago) link

two months pass...

should white material get its own thread?

/\/K/\/\, Saturday, 20 November 2010 03:02 (eleven years ago) link

liked it a lot btw

/\/K/\/\, Saturday, 20 November 2010 03:03 (eleven years ago) link

Weird -- watched a bit of I Can't Sleep two hours ago.

look at it, pwn3d, made u look at my peen/vadge (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 20 November 2010 03:12 (eleven years ago) link

two weeks pass...

bumping for Morbs' White Material input.

Gukbe, Sunday, 5 December 2010 16:31 (eleven years ago) link

I thought White Material was pretty bad, and politically dodgy. Really disappointed after her last few films were so great.

big up yourself and encounter (admrl), Monday, 13 December 2010 21:20 (eleven years ago) link

explain politically dodgy

Gukbe, Tuesday, 14 December 2010 04:57 (eleven years ago) link

two months pass...

beau travail looked GORGEOUS and i was watching on vhs

anyone seen Home ? - 08 isabelle huppert -- sounds cheesy but agnes godard

white material was playing down the street from me and i somehow didnt know abt it til its last night when i couldnt go :(

johnny crunch, Tuesday, 8 March 2011 03:35 (eleven years ago) link

watched Nenette et Boni a couple weeks ago — incredibly sensual but I had a problem understanding the characters' motivations.

corey, Tuesday, 8 March 2011 04:01 (eleven years ago) link

one month passes...

finally getting to White Material tomorrow (luscious Criterion edition).

My mom is all about capital gains tax butthurtedness (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 26 April 2011 17:14 (eleven years ago) link

it is 50% off on Amazon today.

Gukbe, Tuesday, 26 April 2011 17:17 (eleven years ago) link

No thanks!

My mom is all about capital gains tax butthurtedness (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 26 April 2011 17:20 (eleven years ago) link

semi-related: there's a beautiful pick from the white material score on the tindersticks sampler that came with sight and sound. it makes me want to check out the whole thing.

sensual bathtub (group: 698) (schlump), Tuesday, 26 April 2011 23:19 (eleven years ago) link

one month passes...

apparently she wrote an enthusiastic piece on kore-eda in cahiers, once. i wish i could find it. i have US Go Home queued up for some spare night soon.

stately, plump bunk moreland (schlump), Wednesday, 15 June 2011 13:59 (eleven years ago) link

three months pass...

oh wow u.s. go home. as good as the others, i wasn't expecting it.

honest weights, square dealings (schlump), Tuesday, 4 October 2011 23:25 (ten years ago) link

excellent. I didn't care for White Material.

Anakin Ska Walker (AKA Skarth Vader) (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 4 October 2011 23:30 (ten years ago) link

i- i think i still have that confusion from white material, the way i did catching in the mood for love after chungking, expecting the latter so not knowing how to deal with the former. & i was so psyched for white material but, that it obviously wasn't giving me what i'd expected from 35 rhums, not necessarily in tone but just in such exquisite juxtaposition & montage, threw me. i feel like if i rescreened i'd probably admire greatly - it's breadth is a lot to take in at first, and the son's weird tangent feels like a digression. i liked its tension. that is probably what everyone says.

but i almost feel bad, thinking about white material while watching us go home, because i so just want her to do that, do her thing, film people dancing and make a muybridge wheel from the faces you see each time the pair rotate. & i wonder how it must feel preparing to make another film, knowing that zooming into any kind of territory in which people are bouncing off each other & relating & gently affecting one another would give her opportunity to do that again and again. you so inhabit the mood of a girl attending a party that has excited while on the horizon but which disappoints and leaves one directionless while attending. there is a scene of two girls being kind of loud on a bus, & you are even 'with' them then, understanding them, remembering. it unfolds so gracefully.

i probably would have got around to catching this sooner had someone told me how much of it was dancing. really a canonical teenage film, i think (would have to build up the rest of this canon, but: seventeen, paranoid park, ..?)

honest weights, square dealings (schlump), Tuesday, 4 October 2011 23:46 (ten years ago) link

WM felt like a step backward: a re-examiniation of the Chocolat material without the precision.

Anakin Ska Walker (AKA Skarth Vader) (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 4 October 2011 23:53 (ten years ago) link

xp Friday Night felt completely of a piece with Let the Sunshine In... certainly superior, in every way, a masterpiece, it's more surprising that the same filmmaker made White Material, Trouble Every Day, and 35 Rhums.

flappy bird, Friday, 11 January 2019 17:28 (three years ago) link

why do you say that flappy (I haven't seen Vendredi Soir)

longish article and interview here:

I bailed on it once I realised it was v. spoilery.

Acting Crazy (Instrumental) (jed_), Friday, 11 January 2019 18:34 (three years ago) link

Xp Funny I really l see the similarities between Vendredi Soir, and 35 Rhums. Trouble Every Day is her massive outlier for me, both in style and quality, and it’s a fine movie.

Still need to see Bastards, Let the Sunshine In, and High Life.

Your dad's Carlos Boozer and you keep him alive (fionnland), Friday, 11 January 2019 19:11 (three years ago) link

just that Friday Night is so impressionistic and painterly. the similarity to LTSI is just in the way she shoots naked bodies up close. there's more plot in LTSI, in Friday Night there's hardly any.

flappy bird, Friday, 11 January 2019 19:27 (three years ago) link

Yeah, to me Friday Night and 35 Rhums exist almost as companion pieces to each other.

So, This Leaked (Capitaine Jay Vee), Friday, 11 January 2019 19:28 (three years ago) link

I saw it for the first time recently but I need to watch 35 Rhums again, I wasn't really in the best mood & was pretty distracted. Didn't realize it was an update of Late Spring until later but the similarities are obvious, especially that final shot (which is great).

flappy bird, Friday, 11 January 2019 19:32 (three years ago) link

I never made the connection between 35 Rhums and Late Spring before

Dan S, Wednesday, 23 January 2019 00:43 (three years ago) link

I need to watch it again too, I've only recently come to understand the pleasure of watching her films, when I first started they seemed so oblique and subtle it was hard for me to latch on to them.

Dan S, Wednesday, 23 January 2019 01:06 (three years ago) link

she does the whole close body thing so well

Dan S, Saturday, 2 February 2019 04:03 (three years ago) link

"usually we close late on Fridays; but with the strike..."

Dan S, Saturday, 2 February 2019 04:06 (three years ago) link

I really don't understand what the deal was with the anchovy squiggling on the pizza in Friday Night. there were a bunch of other surreal moments in that film too

I love Claire Denis

Dan S, Saturday, 2 February 2019 04:22 (three years ago) link

other surreal moments…the brief imagined scene of her with Vincent Lindon at her friend’s apartment with the crying baby, the elision of a scene showing an encounter with him on the stairs at the arcade with one of her brushing her hair in the restroom, so close up it’s hard to guess what’s happening, right at the moment she decides to take a chance

Dan S, Sunday, 3 February 2019 02:55 (three years ago) link

one month passes...

The Intruder is the first Denis film I’m not crazy about. It had striking moments visually, and the idea of the stalker was interesting, but between the dreams, portrayal of past events, and the current day narrative it was frustrating to try to make sense of it

Maybe a couple more viewings and I will appreciate it

Dan S, Wednesday, 6 March 2019 02:10 (three years ago) link

i hope you will. it's one of her best.

Acting Crazy (Instrumental) (jed_), Wednesday, 6 March 2019 03:53 (three years ago) link

two weeks pass...

That is a film I fell in love with instantly. I have yet to see all other Denis movies apart from the latest with Juliette Binoche, but the memory of The Intruder still lingers on, years after the viewing.
The confusionary state(s) it put across was the thing I most loved about it.

Max Florian, Wednesday, 20 March 2019 10:50 (three years ago) link

she'll be here too

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 20 March 2019 17:07 (three years ago) link

Coming up to the city for the last day of High Life and missing the Kaurismäki Metrograph retro by one day 😔

flappy bird, Wednesday, 27 March 2019 00:29 (three years ago) link

saw Bastards. I like that Claire Denis uses The Tindersticks in the soundtracks of two of her films

Dan S, Thursday, 4 April 2019 01:47 (three years ago) link

She's used the Tindersticks or Stuart Staples in every film she's made since Nenette et Boni in 1996!

Acting Crazy (Instrumental) (jed_), Thursday, 4 April 2019 01:57 (three years ago) link

never saw Nenette et Boni, only started noticing it with the title song to Trouble Every Day. didn't realize that they did the scores for 35 Rhums and White Material

Dan S, Thursday, 4 April 2019 02:21 (three years ago) link

I like that! US Go Home is another one of her films I still have to watch

glad to see Gregoire Colin show up in so many of her films

Dan S, Sunday, 7 April 2019 23:53 (three years ago) link

she loves amateur dance scenes so much. i do too!

Acting Crazy (Instrumental) (jed_), Sunday, 7 April 2019 23:56 (three years ago) link

They always express character.

Alex Descas is amazing in No Fear No Die… viscerally painful. And 180 degrees from his character 18 years later in 35 Rhums.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 9 April 2019 03:42 (three years ago) link

I really liked ‘35 Rhums’ but don’t think I’ve seen any of Denis’ other films.

michaellambert, Tuesday, 9 April 2019 08:29 (three years ago) link

one month passes...

Do you have gluten-free olives?

flappy bird, Monday, 3 June 2019 18:16 (three years ago) link

That actor is Xavier Beauvois, the director of Of Gods and Men and Les Guardiennes. He's very good in that scene!

Shite New Answers (jed_), Monday, 3 June 2019 18:43 (three years ago) link


recriminations from the nitpicking woke (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 3 June 2019 18:56 (three years ago) link

Bfi putting on a season of her films this month

xyzzzz__, Monday, 3 June 2019 21:59 (three years ago) link

I just got back from Brazil and felt like banging you!

flappy bird, Tuesday, 4 June 2019 00:49 (three years ago) link

keep it to yourself streaming here

devvvine, Friday, 14 June 2019 21:25 (three years ago) link

for yourself*

devvvine, Friday, 14 June 2019 21:26 (three years ago) link

two months pass...

thinking back on it, "high life" plays better in my head as one big joke about being way too high all the time

cheese canopy (map), Wednesday, 28 August 2019 19:55 (two years ago) link

or onanistic

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 28 August 2019 20:32 (two years ago) link

High Life is a really great title

Dan S, Thursday, 29 August 2019 02:41 (two years ago) link

six months pass...

Bad take

“The fact Adèle Haenel got up and walked out [at the Césars] – I mean, she has the right to, but with her finger pointed at us shouting "shame!" – I found that a bit strange. People voted, they thought Polanski's film was the best, that's the Césars." – Claire Denis

— Film Updates (@FilmUpdates) March 9, 2020

Alain the Botton (jed_), Monday, 9 March 2020 17:38 (two years ago) link


flappy bird, Monday, 9 March 2020 18:02 (two years ago) link

Well, for one they probably thought Ladj Ly was the best, but he won Best Film and couldn't win both

Frederik B, Monday, 9 March 2020 18:04 (two years ago) link

Yeah, there were five other options still.

crusty but malignant (Eric H.), Monday, 9 March 2020 18:26 (two years ago) link

Adèle Haenel is a victim of child sex abuse and the fact that she vocally objected to this win and left the auditorium is laudable. What’s she supposed to do? Sit quietly and hope that they do better next year?

Alain the Botton (jed_), Monday, 9 March 2020 18:35 (two years ago) link

I haven't read it yet but there's a whole interview with Claire Denis in Le Monde about this. She seems to be saying that Adèle Haenel's anger is 'fundamentally just' but she didn't 'pick the right time to speak out', whatever the fuck that means.

romanesque architect (pomenitul), Monday, 9 March 2020 18:39 (two years ago) link

I'm also weirded out by this argument:

A quoi sert, d’ailleurs, de le dire si tard [que « distinguer Polanski, ce serait cracher sur les victimes »] ? Dans cette logique, il faudrait priver Polanski de toute aide de l’Etat et l’interdire au Centre national de la cinématographie, comme semble l’y encourager le ministre de la culture. Mais dès lors que Polanski est autorisé à vivre en France et à faire des films en France, il me semble difficile de l’éconduire aussi tardivement.

Quick translation:

What point is there, incidentally, in saying it so late [that honouring Polanski is tantamount to spitting in the victims' faces]? If we go by this logic, Polanski should be denied all state funding and be banned from the Centre national de la cinématographie, which is what the minister of culture seems to be advocating. But insofar as Polanski is given leave to reside in France and to make films in France, it seems difficult to usher him out so late.


romanesque architect (pomenitul), Monday, 9 March 2020 18:49 (two years ago) link

Minister for culture otm.

Alain the Botton (jed_), Monday, 9 March 2020 18:55 (two years ago) link

I haven't read it yet but there's a whole interview with Claire Denis in Le Monde about this. She seems to be saying that Adèle Haenel's anger is 'fundamentally just' but she didn't 'pick the right time to speak out', whatever the fuck that means.

― romanesque architect (pomenitul), Monday, March 9, 2020 2:39 PM (twenty minutes ago) bookmarkflaglink

Booooo. Denis calling her protest "strange" is stupid & and lol you always know someone has actually picked 'the right time to speak out' when others criticize them for exactly that.

but Polanski's film won--I guess "thats the Cesars"

flappy bird, Monday, 9 March 2020 19:02 (two years ago) link

(and I am booing Denis, I am with you pom)

flappy bird, Monday, 9 March 2020 19:03 (two years ago) link

Minister for culture otm.

Poor guy has been tested positive for Covid-19. :(

romanesque architect (pomenitul), Monday, 9 March 2020 19:47 (two years ago) link

two years pass...

Did Both Sides of the Blade play anywhere beside a couple of obscure DC-area theaters? My initial impression is Let the Sunshine In except bad, so I'll excuse anyone who missed this for whatever reason.

(The downtown Landmark theater that usually gives this sort of film one week is tied up right now with the Thor and Top Gun movies.)

Infanta Terrible (, Saturday, 23 July 2022 21:06 (three weeks ago) link

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