Aero Theatre
1328 Montana Avenue,
Santa Monica, CA 90403 Map
Fri, Apr 12, 2019 - Sun, Apr 14, 2019
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SALT, SWEAT AND SUNSHINE: THE CINEMA OF CLAIRE DENIS
Co-presented by the French Film & TV Office, French Consulate.

On the eve of the nationwide release of her latest film, HIGH LIFE, the American Cinematheque is proud to present several films in celebration of Claire Denis, a filmmaker who has created a distinct cinematic language over the past 30 years. Denis’ pre-directing résumé is legendary: She has worked with the likes of Robert Bresson, Andrei Tarkovsky, Jacques Rivette, Costa-Gavras, Jim Jarmusch and Wim Wenders. But now the veteran filmmaker has reached the ranks of her teachers, boasting a career with an impressive range and an ability to constantly transform herself while maintaining a unique stylistic voice.

Denis entered the public consciousness at the Cannes Film Festival in 1988, when her feature debut CHOCOLAT, a semi-autobiographical story of a young girl in colonial Central Africa, competed for the coveted Palme d'Or. A maverick from the get-go, she followed up that success in 1990 with NO FEAR, NO DIE, a bizarre film about illegal cock-fighting, and four years later went on to direct I CAN’T SLEEP, which was loosely based on a French serial killer. With 1996’s NÉNETTE AND BONI, her camera shifted toward the family unit, and in 1999, she directed what many consider to be her greatest achievement: the queer cinema landmark BEAU TRAVAIL.

Carrying that same rebel spirit into the 21st century, Denis set her sights on subverting the horror genre with TROUBLE EVERY DAY, a take on vampirism and one of the most shocking films of 2001. Since then, Denis’ films have continued to impress moviegoers and generate discussion among critics and filmmakers alike. Highlights include the nearly wordless THE INTRUDER, the father-daughter drama 35 SHOTS OF RUM and the African-set WHITE MATERIAL. In 2017, she released the searing romantic drama LET THE SUNSHINE IN, starring Juliette Binoche (who is set to co-star with Robert Pattinson in the sci-fi film HIGH LIFE, Denis’ most ambitious project yet).

Denis’ cinematic voice is one of great range and beauty - one of grandeur and of subtlety, of polish and of grit, of philosophy and of emotion. Many say that the environments onscreen are the primary characters in her cinema, where the tactile qualities of the material world jump out from the frame. In fact, her films assault all the senses: You can feel the dust of Africa in CHOCOLAT, taste the arid salt of the terrain in BEAU TRAVAIL and smell the blood-spattered walls in TROUBLE EVERY DAY. Her characters exist within this same paradigm, as male and female bodies alike are sources of the sublime, and skin a canvas on which the environment enhances, abuses and alters the human figure. But such images are meaningless without Denis’ thoughtful perspective. Nestled somewhere between romantic and cynic, Denis is a filmmaker who presents the world as it is, for all its beauty and chaos. We fall in love with her characters and hate many of them at the same time. Such is the complexity of life and the life-blood of Denis’ fearless cinema.

Series compiled by Gwen Deglise and Chris LeMaire. Program notes by Chris LeMaire.

We are thrilled to welcome Claire Denis to the Aero Theatre!
Aero TheatreFri, Apr 12, 2019 - Sun, Apr 14, 2019
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Films in this Series at the Aero

Director Claire Denis In Person!
Fri, Apr 12, 2019 - 7:30pm
Aero Theatre
Director Claire Denis In Person!
Sat, Apr 13, 2019 - 5:00pm
Aero Theatre
Sat, Apr 13, 2019 - 7:30pm
Aero Theatre
Sun, Apr 14, 2019 - 7:30pm
Aero Theatre