Part of Essentials of Feminist Cinema.
Sun, Apr 9, 7:30pm: Introduction and post-screening discussion with Amy Bertram, lecturer in motion pictures at Belmont University, senior lecturer in film at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film, and lecturer in French at Tennessee State University. BUY TICKETS
Claire Denis’s masterful Billy Budd adaptation is a braggadocio battle of male bodies and egos played out against the stark terrain of Djibouti. On a desolate outpost, a French Foreign Legion sergeant-major (Denis Levant) leads a regimented life with his men, sculpted soldiers going about a ballet-like series of training sequences by day and populating local discotheques by night. Galoup's deep love for his tough commander Bruno (Michel Subor) is threatened when a lithe new recruit (Gregoire Cohn) attracts the attention of his commanding officer and disrupts the delicate balance of power.
“A movie so tactile in its cinematography, inventive in its camera placement, and sensuous in its editing that the purposefully oblique and languid narrative is all but eclipsed...In its hypnotic ritual, BEAU TRAVAIL suggests a John Ford cavalry Western interpreted by Marguerite Duras.” —J. Hoberman, Nashville Scene “From the first, Claire Denis’ film BEAU TRAVAIL presents itself as a story of sparse power, as stripped down as the shirtless soldiers that populate its field of vision. It is one of those rare, remarkable films that combines the physical and metaphysical in meaningful ways, lingering over the human body while simultaneously considering the soul.” —Asher Gelzer Govatos, Objects of Desire: The Cinema of Claire Denis