Close Up

15 - 31 July 2019: Beau travail


Beau travail
Claire Denis, 1999, 90 min, 15, 35mm
French with English subtitles 

"Denis and her near-constant collaborator, screenwriter Jean-Pol Fargeau, reimagine Melville’s Billy Budd as a tale of jealousy and homoerotic desire amongst a company of French Legionnaires in remote Djibouti. The beautiful sparseness and enigmatic quality of Beau travail is informed by Denis’ interest in contemporary choreography and her careful attention to the legionnaires' training and exercise, rituals that suggest both the cohesion of and the unspoken tensions within the unit. In a film of few words the soldiers' sculptural bodies become expressive markers of the ways in which belonging, tenderness and violence trouble contemporary masculinity." – Harvard Film Archive

Part of our season on Claire Denis