The screening on 27 November will be followed by a seminar in Cantonese with critic and university lecturer Dr Sonia Au and M+ Curator of Hong Kong Film and Media Li Cheuk-to. The seminar will focus on the career and works of Claire Denis as well as her reception in France and abroad.
Beau Travail is an adaptation of Herman Melville’s allegorical novel Billy Budd. On the African coast, a group
of mercenaries in the French Foreign Legion are stuck in a sunbaked desert, remnants of a ghost army that punish themselves with drills
and training rituals to fight boredom. Numbed by the pointless routine, Sergeant Galoup becomes obsessed with the young recruit Sentain.
Director: Claire Denis
Starring: Denis Lavant, Michel Subor, Grégoire Colin, Richard Courcet
Claire Denis (b. 1946, France) began her career working on set in Dusan Makavejev’s Sweet Movie (1974). Her years working alongside Wim Wenders and Jim Jarmusch were crucial to her growth as a filmmaker before she directed her debut Chocolat (1988). Her next films I Can’t Sleep (1994) and Nénette et Boni (1996) interweave narratives inspired by the urban culture of Paris. Denis’s elliptical narrative and visual style received widespread acclaim with Beau Travail (1999) while Trouble Every Day (2001) made a shocking presentation in which Denis, regarded as an arthouse director, turned to the horror genre.
The 2000s were significant for her career, which saw the release of Friday Night (2002), 35 Shots of Rum (2008), and White Material (2009). In 2022, Both Sides of the Blade and Stars at Noon won prizes at the Berlinale and Cannes respectively. Working closely with her longtime collaborators, such as cinematographer Agnès Godard and the rock band Tindersticks, Denis has contributed a diverse body of work to contemporary cinema.
FEVER DREAMS: THE CINEMA OF CLAIRE
Co-presented by Alliance Française de Hong Kong and M+ Cinema
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