LET THE SUNSHINE IN
UN BEAU SOLEIL INTÉRIEUR
2017, IFC Films/Sundance Selects, 94 min, France/Belgium, Dir: Claire Denis

Shedding the blood and guts but none of the stinging bite of her previous work on male-female relationships, Claire Denis’ LET THE SUNSHINE IN is a surprisingly caustic romantic comedy about a woman’s search for true love. Taking a narrative stab at French philosopher Roland Barthes’ 1977 book, A Lover's Discourse: Fragments, Denis and screenwriter-novelist Christine Angot examine a woman’s troubled love life as she finds little success beyond carnal gratification. Juliette Binoche plays the frustrated Isabelle, in one of her most riveting performances. “A simple story of enormous complexity. A romantic comedy and drama in which the questioning of those very categories is a part of the action ... a peculiarly insightful glimpse into the emotional fluidity within the formal boundaries of French culture.” - Richard Brody – The New Yorker.


TROUBLE EVERY DAY
2001, The Film Desk, 101 min, France/Germany/Japan, Dir: Claire Denis

What if love was a sickness? Or even worse, a cannibalistic impulse that can only be satisfied via utter consumption? Claire Denis follows these questions to their gruesome conclusions in this visceral portrayal of an all-consuming desire. When newlyweds Shane (Vincent Gallo) and June (Tricia Vessey) honeymoon in Paris, the new husband secretly pursues a renowned neuroscientist conducting studies on the human libido. Becoming more involved with Dr. Sémeneau (Alex Descas) and his tests, Shane learns of the doctor’s wife, Coré (Béatrice Dalle), whose strange illness requires her to be quarantined at all times. But all hell breaks loose when Coré escapes and unleashes a sickness deadlier than anyone could have imagined.


35 SHOTS OF RUM
35 RHUMS
2008, The Cinema Guild, 100 min, France/Germany, Dir: Claire Denis

One of Denis’ most poignant films, 35 SHOTS OF RUM portrays a rare father-daughter relationship. The antagonist is time itself, as aging father Lionel (Alex Descas) cannot escape the constant reminder of his impending retirement and the prospect of living alone, while daughter Josephine (Mati Diop), now a grown woman, must look ahead to college graduation and possibly marriage. Luckily, they have friendly neighbors within their apartment building to keep them company and distract them from their fears. “This outstanding new film from Claire Denis demonstrates her fluency and mastery in the kind of movie language that is rich, quietly complex and subtle - and very un-Hollywood.” - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian.


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