Under the Skin: The Films of Claire Denis

3/4/11 to 4/16/11

An important retrospective devoted to one of the most exciting talents of contemporary cinema, French director Claire Denis, many of whose films focus on colonialism and its legacy. Whether in her debut film Chocolat or her most recent, White Material, Denis focuses her (and our) attention on the textures and rhythms of the physical world and on the ways that people move through it. This series also includes films by Jim Jarmusch and Wim Wenders on which Denis served as assistant director, revealing the long arc of her remarkable career.

Read full description
  • Upcoming
    Films
  • Past
    Films
  • Past
    Events

Past Films

  • 35 Shots of Rum

    • Saturday, April 16 8:40 PM

    Claire Denis (France, 2008). Denis magically limns the story of a father (Alex Descas) and his daughter as they face the inevitable: her independence. “Quiet and lovely . . . (shows) how the melancholy strains of ordinary existence are also its sweetest music” (N.Y. Times). (100 mins)

  • Friday Night

    • Friday, April 15 7:00 PM

    Claire Denis (France, 2002). A chance encounter in a traffic jam offers a thirtysomething woman a moment of liberation. “This is wonderfully alert filmmaking, vividly alive to the constant by-play between inner longings and everyday surroundings” (Time Out). (90 mins)

  • Vers Mathilde

    • Friday, April 15 8:50 PM

    Claire Denis (France, 2005). This rarely screened documentary on choreographer Mathilde Monnier is “a must for modern dance and Denis fans” (Variety). With short Pour Ushari Ahmed Mahmoud, a haunting evocation of political repression and exile. (88 mins)

  • The Intruder

    • Saturday, April 9 8:30 PM

    Claire Denis (France/Korea, 2004). After a heart transplant, a man travels the world in search of new meaning. “Poetic and primal. . . . This mysterious object may be Denis's most gorgeous film” (Village Voice). (130 mins)

  • U.S. Go Home

    • Friday, April 8 9:00 PM

    Claire Denis/Cédric Kahn (France, 1994). “The great unseen Claire Denis film” (Harvard Film Archive), U.S. Go Home is a vivid portrait of 1960s French youth. With Claire Denis: The Wanderer, a filmed interview with the director. (114 mins)

  • The Intruder

    • Friday, April 8 6:30 PM

    Claire Denis (France/Korea, 2004). After a heart transplant, a man travels the world in search of new meaning. “Poetic and primal. . . . This mysterious object may be Denis's most gorgeous film” (Village Voice). (130 mins)

  • Wings of Desire

    • Saturday, April 2 8:30 PM

    Wim Wenders (W. Germany, 1988). Denis assisted (and met actress Solveig Dommartin, who later appeared in No Fear, No Die) on Wim Wenders's poignant city symphony, which centers on a pair of melancholy angels whose beat is Berlin. (130 mins)

  • Beau travail

    • Friday, April 1 7:00 PM

    Claire Denis (France, 1999). In this story of French Legionnaires isolated in a blisteringly beautiful African setting, Denis creates “a fixed, timeless world of mysterious, balletic rites, rippled with simmering homoerotic tensions. . . Prepare to be blown away” (Time Out). (90 mins)

  • Trouble Every Day

    • Friday, April 1 8:50 PM

    Claire Denis (France, 2001). Vincent Gallo and Béatrice Dalle are stricken with a gruesome sexual compulsion. Denis's controversial take on erotic horror is “sui generis . . . harrowing, merciless, strangely tender” (Glenn Kenny). (101 mins)

  • Down by Law

    • Saturday, March 26 8:30 PM

    Jim Jarmusch (U.S., 1986). Tom Waits, John Lurie, and Roberto Benigni make an odd trio of Louisiana jailbirds in what Jarmusch termed a “neo-Beat noir comedy.” Denis was assistant director. (107 mins)

  • Nénette and Boni

    • Friday, March 25 7:00 PM

    Claire Denis (France, 1996). “A sibling drama of unsentimental urban grit and swooning lyricism, Nénette and Boni meditates on the myriad permutations of love and sensuality . . . Denis's elliptical narrative style has seldom been this graceful” (Slant). (103 mins)

  • Beau travail

    • Friday, March 25 9:00 PM

    Claire Denis (France, 1999). In this story of French Legionnaires isolated in a blisteringly beautiful African setting, Denis creates “a fixed, timeless world of mysterious, balletic rites, rippled with simmering homoerotic tensions. . . Prepare to be blown away” (Time Out). (90 mins)

  • No Fear, No Die

    • Sunday, March 20 3:00 PM

    Claire Denis (France, 1990). In Denis's surprising second film, Isaach de Bankolé and Alex Descas play immigrants who train birds for cockfights on the outskirts of Paris. “Has a seedy, claustrophobic power that says as much about human as about animal exploitation” (Time Out). (91 mins)

  • I Can't Sleep

    • Sunday, March 6 3:00 PM

    Claire Denis (France/Switzerland, 1994). Loosely based on a series of real-life murders, Denis's Parisian noir opens up more riddles than it solves, mysteries of intention and desire. “Calmly lures viewers into an ordinary world where the sinister and the benign wear the same face” (N.Y. Times). (110 mins)

  • Paris, Texas

    • Saturday, March 5 7:15 PM

    Wim Wenders (W. Germany/France, 1984). Amnesiac Harry Dean Stanton and his young son set out across the West in search of the boy's mother in Wenders's melancholy road movie. Written by Sam Shepard, with a memorable score by Ry Cooder; Denis was assistant director. (145 mins)

  • White Material

    • Friday, March 4 7:00 PM

    Claire Denis (France, 2009). Isabelle Huppert plays a West African plantation owner whose world is collapsing around her. Denis's most recent film is “tense, convulsive . . . a thing of terrible beauty” (Village Voice). “The best film of the year” (Artforum). (102 mins)

  • Chocolat

    • Friday, March 4 9:00 PM

    Claire Denis (France/W. Germany, 1988). Denis's first feature draws on recollections of her girlhood in 1950s colonial Africa. “A film of infinite delicacy . . . made with the complexity and subtlety of a great short story” (Chicago Sun-Times). (105 mins)