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Tue, Jan 10 at 6:50pm


  • Dir. Claire Denis
  • France
  • 1999
  • 92 min.
  • NR
  • 4K DCP Restoration

In French with English subtitles

  • Assistive Listening
  • Subtitled
  • Hearing Loop

Part of The Sight and Sound Top 10 (#7)

Tue, Jan 10 at 6:50pm: Post-screening discussion in the upstairs Jackson Education and Engagement Space (limited space; seating is first come, first served) led by Amy Bertram, lecturer in Motion Pictures at Belmont 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

See the Official Website