Indiana University

Skip to:

  1. Search
  2. Breadcrumb Navigation
  3. Content
  4. Browse by Topic
  5. Services & Resources
  6. Additional Resources
  7. Multimedia News

Last modified: Monday, October 22, 2012

French filmmaker Claire Denis to speak at IU Cinema, present seven of her films

Oct. 22, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- French filmmaker Claire Denis will visit Indiana University's Bloomington campus in November, where she'll deliver a Jorgensen Guest Filmmaker Lecture at IU Cinema and present a selection of her films.

Denis, Claire

Claire Denis. Image courtesy of The Cinema Guild, Inc.

Print-Quality Photo

Dubbed "fearless" by The Observer contributor Andrew Hussey for her refusal to shy away from difficult subjects such as sex, politics, race and murder, Denis has been hailed as one of the greatest filmmakers working today. Her films favor visual and sound elements over dialogue, her editing technique has been compared to jazz improvisation for its rhythmic quality, and her films can blur the border between dream and reality.

Born in Paris, she spent her childhood in Africa, where her father worked for the French colonial administration, moving through the French colonies that would become Cameroon, Burkina Faso and Djibouti. That experience translated into her first film, "Chocolat," a nonbiographical account of post-colonialism, which IU Cinema will screen to kick off its series of her work.

"Claire Denis' work stands alone in its visual richness, poetic rhythm, technical proficiency and thematic complexness. Despite her claims to be a 'simple' woman, she is an intellectually complex filmmaker," IU Cinema director Jon Vickers said. "If you've never experienced the poetry of her films on a large screen, you are in for a treat."

Denis will speak at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, while IU Cinema will screen seven of her films. All are in French with English subtitles, with the exception of "Trouble Every Day," which is French and English with English subtitles:

  • 3 p.m. Nov. 4, "Chocolat." Stranded travelers in West Africa span class and race and, in close quarters, demonstrate power struggles in a prejudiced society.
  • 7 p.m. Nov. 5, "I Can't Sleep." Set in the ghettos of Paris, this film uses a famous murder case from the 1980s as a base to explore marginalization and isolation in the immigrant experience.
  • 7 p.m. Nov. 6, "Nenette and Boni." Following their mother's death, 19-year-old Boni combats loneliness through vivid fantasies while pregnant 15-year-old Nenette struggles to escape boarding school.
  • 6:30 p.m. Nov. 8, "The Intruder." Follow a 70-year-old recluse in need of a heart transplant as he seeks peace and his estranged son through France, Switzerland, South Korea and Tahiti.
  • 3 p.m. Nov. 10, "Beau Travail." Explore the enclosed, male world of a small French Foreign Legion outpost, with its rituals, codes and barely contained emotional conflicts.
  • 9:30 p.m. Nov. 10, "Trouble Every Day." This story of American newlyweds living in Paris explores the politics of sex within the relationships of even the most dedicated of lovers and a society incapable of loving without killing.
  • 3 p.m. Nov. 11, "White Material." Maria risks everything in her attempts to run her family's coffee plantation in an unnamed African country torn apart by hate-fueled civil conflict.

Denis is scheduled to be present for screenings of "Beau Travail," "Trouble Every Day" and "White Material."

Denis' lecture is free, and no tickets are required. Tickets for all films are $3 each, and can be obtained at the IU Auditorium Box Office from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or one hour before any screening at the cinema. Tickets can be purchased by phone at 812-855-1103 for a $10 service fee.

The "Claire Denis: Confronting the Other" film series is sponsored by the Department of Communication and Culture, Department of French and Italian and the Black Film Center/Archive, all in the College of Arts and Sciences, and IU Cinema. Indiana University is the first stop of a four-campus tour for Denis. Her visit has been made possible by Cultural Services at the French Embassy in New York, Cultural Services at the Consulate General of France in Chicago, UniFrance and Institut Francais. The Jorgensen Guest Filmmaker Lecture series is made possible through the support of the Ove W Jorgensen Foundation.