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Claire Denis

Claire Denis

Judith Mayne
Copyright Date: 2005
Pages: 192
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  • Book Info
    Claire Denis
    Book Description:

    Widely regarded as one of the most innovative and passionate filmmakers working in France today, Claire Denis has continued to make beautiful and challenging films since the 1988 release of her first feature, Chocolat. Judith Mayne's comprehensive study of these films traces Denis's career and discusses her major feature films in rich detail. Born in Paris but having grown up in Africa, Denis explores in her films the legacies of French colonialism and the complex relationships between sexuality, gender, and race. From the adult woman who observes her past as a child in Cameroon to the Lithuanian immigrant who arrives in Paris and watches a serial killer to the disgraced French Foreign Legionnaire attempting to make sense of his past, the subjects of Denis's films continually revisit themes of watching, bearing witness, and making contact, as well as displacement, masculinity, and the migratory subject.

    eISBN: 978-0-252-09639-6
    Subjects: Performing Arts, Film Studies

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface and Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-xvi)
  4. Seeing Others
    (pp. 1-130)

    One of the distinctive features of Claire Denis’s cinema is the attention paid to the periphery, to the seemingly insignificant detail. All of Denis’s films have plots, and they certainly have characters. But the plots of her films never lead in a single direction, and they are often fragmented. The characters in Denis’s films are fully present on screen, yet even when they are driven by what appears to be the weight of the past (or the present), we are never given anything resembling psychological portraits. In the opening moments of most of Denis’s films, there is a wealth of...

  5. Interview with Claire Denis
    (pp. 131-146)

    This interview took place in Paris in July 2003. I had spent the previous month in there, and I had the opportunity to see all of Denis’s short films, which are usually not shown outside of film festivals or retrospectives. In our discussion, Denis provided background and context for many of those films. While it is unfortunate that these films are not more readily available (in France or in the United States), Denis’s discussion of them gives insight into the range of her career. Denis also discussed the use of the voice-over and the influence on her work of filmmakers...

  6. Filmography
    (pp. 147-154)
  7. Bibliography
    (pp. 155-162)
  8. Index
    (pp. 163-168)
  9. Back Matter
    (pp. 169-172)