From Chocolate to Ecclair – Claire Denis is Excellent

“Our brains are full of literature – my brain is. But I think we also have a dream world, the brain is also full of image and songs and I think that making films for me is to get rid of explanation. … I think, you get explanation by getting rid of explanation. I am sure of that.” (from an interview by Jonathan Romney here. On music and Beau Travail from here.)

Claire Denis

Happy Birthday!
Today is Claire‘s birthday. She was born on April 21, 1948 in Paris
“A provocative director whose films offer richly textured, contemplative examinations of cross-cultural tensions and alienation, Claire Denis is one of French cinema’s most distinctive and humanistic storytellers. A prolific filmmaker who is more concerned with the drive of her characters rather than the plot that weaves them together, she has been dubbed by one critic as one of the only current French directors who “has been able to reconcile the lyricism of French cinema with the impulse to capture the often harsh face of contemporary France.”

Claire is versatile and elusive, two interviews from senses of cinema, here she talks about her apprenticeship with Rivette, Eustache, Wender and here on L’Intrus.

Ten minutes older:the Cello-with Jean Luc Nancy from here.

Performing the narrative of seduction and a non-localized sexuality, from here.
A review of Beau Travail, here with great photos of Michel Subor and Gregoire Colin

Beau Travail
Beau Travail

  • See full film Beau Travail .. (youtube)

  • “My films, sadly enough, are sometimes unbalanced,” says filmmaker Claire Denis as we sip tea at the Toronto International Film Festival. “They have a limp or one arm shorter or a big nose, but even in the editing room when we try to change that, normally it doesn’t work.”
    I nearly choke on my tea at this. Denis’ films are as graceful as they come. Bold and musical, warm and intelligent at the same time, they’re so subtle the flms often seemingly work on a subconscious level. Revisiting her movies invariably turns up something new, something placed carefully in the flow of the story by a sure hand, something that went previously unseen. A limp? A big nose? More like Fred Astaire. ”
    (Intruding Beauty from Errata Magazine.)

    News on Claire’s new documentary from Villagevoice reporting on Tribeca Film Festival
    “Towards Mathilde” – Claire Denis’s absorbing documentary on modern dance maven Mathilde Monnier is in many ways the apotheosis of the director’s career-long obsession with the human body. Chronicling the rehearsal process with an intimate (but never intrusive) eye, Denis revels in the elasticity of human skin and sinew while the grainy cinematography (by Agnès Godard and Hélène Louvard) imparts a pointillist abstraction to the bodies on display. The scenes in which Mathilde breaks loose to the music of PJ Harvey are boldly unselfconscious and inevitably recall the pop freak-out climax of Beau Travail. NG

    Claire is a Professor, here.