Claire Denis

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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 (eight 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 (eight 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 (eight 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 (eight 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, ..?)

http://img31.imageshack.us/img31/2585/vlcsnap2011100500h00m06.png

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

would really be testing my memory & its ability to correlate material seen years apart to compare the two, here, but i don't know if it isn't too narrow to treat them as being similar; i feel like WM is kinda intended as a very sensory 'mood piece', with a whole psychotic underside, making you inhabit isabelle huppert & taking you through her routine as it grows more claustrophobic, i guess still looking at displacement and belonging and stuff, but in quite a different way/from a diff POV than chocolat. which was precise, and more level, as far as i remember. i guess i'm arguing that locale & even subject, colonialism, don't qualify as being the same 'material', which i'd feel more nervous about were it not for mood being as significant an aspect of denis' films as anything else in them.

honest weights, square dealings (schlump), Wednesday, 5 October 2011 00:04 (eight years ago) link

I know what you're saying. In WM her method of evoking fails her though. I wrote at the time: "Her her fondness for lacuna can turn her pictures into thesis statements for unfinished college essays."

Anakin Ska Walker (AKA Skarth Vader) (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 5 October 2011 00:08 (eight years ago) link

ha, yeah - like i say i don't want to really judge the success of WM because i was slightly mixed up when watching it, but i think that's interesting & nails her 'approach'. it really is a long time since i saw chocolat, however, & i think i keep it separate from the more sensuous, evocative films because it isn't (iirc) using that toolset to talk to the viewer. i think that sparsity in white material is part of its intentionally uneven, ill-fitting & anxious sprawl, though that perhaps contradicts what i said about the film being her interior POV.

i went to see CD in conversation a while ago, incidentally, & have been meaning to dig out the notebook i was using at the time to transcribe what i scribbled down - was v inspirational, the debate coinciding with the box set of tindersticks' film scores that came out so kinda musically themed, but just very lovely in general. she has this great voice that sounds like every cigarette she ever smoked. there's an interesting clip here where she starts to talk about montage, w/a lovely off-hand line about the significance of a chair in a scene.

honest weights, square dealings (schlump), Wednesday, 5 October 2011 00:19 (eight years ago) link

one year passes...

i was thinking about denis films, i guess in anticipation of the next, & suddenly found or thought that something they have in common is this slightly unwieldy, slightly too expansive range. in each there is ordinarily an extra thread that loosens the focus - the son in white material, the murders in i can't sleep, even the depressed driver in something as otherwise fairly compact as rhums. it's strange for me to think of them with reference to this one characteristic, as if there's something imperfect or misjudged about them, when i think it probably can't be neatly separated from what makes the films work. the best thing that haneke does is show a disconnect between the participants in his films, a moment with a child talking to an adult in which each is clearly on a different frequency. & i feel like maybe denis does the opposite, in giving us enough of a sense of space and variety and sprawl as to understand the connections made against that backdrop. it isn't that she's going for that panoramic or sort of modernist-Dos-Passos-narrative thing, i don't think. i don't know what it is. but she obviously does something through montage and territory that no-one else does & it feels surprising to notice a commonality that isn't as immediately celebratable as, you know, her dance scenes or smart use of music or smoldering leads or w/e.

daft on the causes of punk (schlump), Sunday, 28 April 2013 21:19 (six years ago) link

Ah, I think that's a very interesting way to describe her films! Look at the way Nenette et Boni begins, circling the neighborhood, tugging at threads/stories until one comes loose enough to follow for a while; or at L'intrus, where almost the whole film is extra threads, and it's not clear how they relate, or which ones could be called the focus. It's definitely not panorama she's going for, but, to work with your thread motif, more as if a piece of cloth were roughly torn away, leaving dangling ends and frayed edges. It's not neat, because it's not a story or a picture but a collection of ideas, and ideas connect and branch off and continue. It's not necessary to follow them to see where they lead, but simply to acknowledge this entanglement all around. I think it's a lovely thing she's doing, and completely celebratable.

Cherish, Tuesday, 30 April 2013 03:10 (six years ago) link

Is there some kind of conspiracy that's made her earlier films so hard to find and expensive? (Other than Chocolat). Are the French keeping her to themselves on purpose?

inventionsforjohn, Monday, 13 May 2013 11:11 (six years ago) link

two months pass...
three months pass...

saw Chocolat for the first time today, wow. Best film about colonialism by a Westerner?

eclectic husbandry (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 20 October 2013 01:59 (six years ago) link

I wanna say Outcast of the Islands but, no, she understands movement.

the objections to Drake from non-REAL HIPHOP people (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 20 October 2013 02:16 (six years ago) link

bastards is really intense, def has lots of lynchian dread

johnny crunch, Friday, 25 October 2013 21:54 (six years ago) link

On Demand today and I have no access or money. :(

Insane Prince of False Binaries (Gukbe), Friday, 25 October 2013 21:59 (six years ago) link

won't c&p it cuz its spoilery but the last few lines of the nyt interview article w/ denis re this is sorta wildly illuminating

johnny crunch, Friday, 25 October 2013 22:02 (six years ago) link

tindersticks also fuckin kills it as per yoosh

johnny crunch, Friday, 25 October 2013 22:05 (six years ago) link

one month passes...

Bastards is sort of a compelling pile of crap.

eclectic husbandry (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 30 November 2013 16:41 (six years ago) link

Not her best but not crap.

Insane Prince of False Binaries (Gukbe), Saturday, 30 November 2013 18:03 (six years ago) link

Don't think Chiara works as a character that well but everything else pretty great. Long Goodbye vibes.

Insane Prince of False Binaries (Gukbe), Saturday, 30 November 2013 18:04 (six years ago) link

i see a lot of similarities between "beau travail" and alan clarke's "contact". military setting, austere feel, lack of dialogue/exposition

subaltern 8 (Michael B), Saturday, 30 November 2013 23:50 (six years ago) link

oh I wish it had 10% of the fun of Long Goodbye

eclectic husbandry (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 1 December 2013 06:05 (six years ago) link

Well the "fun" bit wasn't what I was talking about.

Insane Prince of False Binaries (Gukbe), Sunday, 1 December 2013 06:58 (six years ago) link

I forget that with cable I get to pay for some of these films for less than at the box office, and Bastards one of them.

the objections to Drake from non-REAL HIPHOP people (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 3 December 2013 02:25 (six years ago) link

"More fun." Yes, that's clearly what this material warranted.

Alfre, Lord Woodard (Eric H.), Wednesday, 4 December 2013 14:18 (six years ago) link

Seeing a lot of people comparing this one to L'Intrus in form, which I guess I can kinda see. But it's the version of L'Intrus I didn't f'n loathe.

Alfre, Lord Woodard (Eric H.), Wednesday, 4 December 2013 14:19 (six years ago) link

The terseness of her editing is at its peak in the first half; dunno what to think of the last 15 min though.

the objections to Drake from non-REAL HIPHOP people (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 4 December 2013 14:28 (six years ago) link

it's the version of L'Intrus I did f'n loathe

the "serious" material is treated with unserious pomposity

eclectic husbandry (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 4 December 2013 14:59 (six years ago) link

C'mon, I love art-house severity as much as the next guy, but L'Intrus was impenetrable wankery of the first order.

Alfre, Lord Woodard (Eric H.), Wednesday, 4 December 2013 15:08 (six years ago) link

L'Intrus was impenetrable wankery of the first order.

I think L'intrus is the dream-logic version of a film you might have liked. As if Wild Strawberries had been only dreams, for example, and if Borg were consumed by guilt. It's not wankery when you've watched it a few times.

I liked Bastards, too. But, yeah, the end is baffling. It's crazy atmospheric, yes, but why show us the footage? It's so unlike her.

Cherish, Wednesday, 4 December 2013 18:18 (six years ago) link

forever since i saw l'intrus but it's a pretty ridiculous comparison to me, here. i was so shocked by the distance between what i was expecting of this, based on cannes reviews & other feedback - basically unusually trained, un-peripatetic torture porn - & what this film actually is (obviously the takehome here is just never read anything reported from cannes i know i know); the film is maybe only mildly more intense than, & in its reach & perspective is very similar to, j'ai pas sommeil. i wonder whether the part of the response that considers this just compelling trash is really just all of the thread involving the gun, & its denouement, which: yeah are their own little kinda noir episode. but there was still a lot to like about this. it gave me enough pause & space & stimulus to circle around everything you see in a way more interesting way than we've ever otherwise accustomed to. like the lindon performance is really interesting, i think. everybody laughed when he snapped off some of the baguette. the sex made me feel emasculated, & that it was so convincing of him & so distressing at more of a distance (for me). & she's just so confident with every other small role - the little boy, the bruno forestier guy ("jerk me off"), &c.

found it really interesting to see her working with digital; i thought maybe a third of it was jarring - like the shots of alex descas - & at other points she was in this beautiful new mode, the scene on the boat, lindon talking in the back of the car, & man a couple of really exquisite, i-guess-chris-doyle-ish shots like the opening rain.

love mike love (ko komo) (schlump), Saturday, 14 December 2013 02:49 (five years ago) link

But, yeah, the end is baffling. It's crazy atmospheric, yes, but why show us the footage? It's so unlike her.

i really disagree with this! i think she's obviously very committed to a kind of panorama, which trusts somebody to leave out the specifics, but i don't think that's noticably elliptical or shy. there are shots in 35 rhums & i'm just gonna assume from memory trouble every day that aren't dissimilar, & for it to bookend the film confrontationally feels like a necessary element of what the film was about, particularly given the reference points of like the unindictable DSK, &c.

love mike love (ko komo) (schlump), Saturday, 14 December 2013 02:52 (five years ago) link

one year passes...
one month passes...

olafur eliasson being involved is orders of magnitude more exciting imo

tender is the late-night daypart (schlump), Sunday, 30 August 2015 03:58 (four years ago) link

two years pass...

Anyone seen Let the Sunshine In? Gonna do so tomorrow. Pinkerton loves it:

The true testimony to the preeminence of Let the Sunshine In is not in its selection of themes, but in its remarkable attention to the fine grain of human behavior. Put plainly, I know of few filmmakers who bring to bear an emotional and cinematographic intelligence and attention from scene to scene that is comparable to that of Denis. (I have interviewed the filmmaker only once, and her keen insistence of cross-examining my clumsily worded questions until they achieved absolute precision of language still keeps me up nights.) The drawn-out pas de deux between Isabelle and her actor friend is a perfect illustration of Denis’s craft, a low-key set piece that invests with aching feeling the proximity of two hands and the possibilities that this proximity suggests, the inherent erotic tension of an idling car, and the comical pretext of a nightcap champagne bottle left unopened on a living room coffee table.

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 9 May 2018 15:16 (one year ago) link

Yeah, it's pretty fucking good. Perhaps not Denis' best, but good. Her run from 1999-2009 is a pretty stunning ten years of filmmaking.

Frederik B, Wednesday, 9 May 2018 16:24 (one year ago) link

Loved it!!!

flappy bird, Tuesday, 22 May 2018 01:54 (one year ago) link

lots of hate on my Letterboxd feed; i think it's easily her best since 35 Rhums

the ignatius rock of ignorance (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 27 May 2018 01:22 (one year ago) link

one month passes...
one month passes...

Had a second go at The Intruder, 13 years after the first. Still somewhat baffled, but variations on a theme of searching for a heart and a son, I guess? At least one great joke: "Do you want a glass of water?" followed by a cut to the rolling ocean.

DP Agnes Godard was there for a Q&A (35mm, Lincoln Center) and said "I miss the negative... digital is mathematic, film is intuitive." And a quintessential LincCtr old woman in the back third of the theater couldn't help herself even before the audience was called on, shouting "WHAT IS THE FILM ABOUT!?!"

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 29 July 2018 16:03 (one year ago) link

Lol

3-Way Tie (For James Last) (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 29 July 2018 16:24 (one year ago) link

i really fucking hate old people for someone who almost is one

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 29 July 2018 16:35 (one year ago) link

She's not wrong.

I Never Promised You A Hose Harden (Eric H.), Sunday, 29 July 2018 16:36 (one year ago) link

you and the Upper West Side Golden Girls are united on this one

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 29 July 2018 16:49 (one year ago) link

Lol, I asked Claire Denis a question at one of those Q&As once, but that was when I was much further from approaching my dotage.

3-Way Tie (For James Last) (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 29 July 2018 17:02 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

that feeling when you learn A24 bought Claire Denis’ HIGH LIFE and is planning a big theatrical release. pic.twitter.com/VgMN9kb7uQ

— david ehrlich (@davidehrlich) September 12, 2018

:)

flappy bird, Thursday, 13 September 2018 17:22 (one year ago) link

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

flappy bird, Tuesday, 4 June 2019 00:49 (six months ago) link

keep it to yourself streaming here http://www.lecinemaclub.com/

devvvine, Friday, 14 June 2019 21:25 (five months ago) link

for yourself*

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

or onanistic

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

High Life is a really great title

Dan S, Thursday, 29 August 2019 02:41 (three months ago) link


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