Claire Denis

b. 1948 Paris, France

Articles in Senses
Web Resources

When you look at the hills, beyond the houses and beyond the trees, where the earth touches the sky, that’s the horizon. The closer you get to that line, the father it moves. If you walk towards it, it moves away. It flees from you. I must also explain this to you. You see the line. You see it, but it doesn’t exist.

— Marc Dalens (François Cluzet), Chocolat (1988)

In a rare moment of prolonged dialogue during Claire Denis’s achingly understated début feature, Chocolat (1988), colonial governor Marc Dalens (François Cluzet) explains the evasive qualities of the horizon to his daughter, France (Cécile Ducasse). Integral to the film (set in Cameroon in the 1950s under French colonial rule), the African horizon serves as a constant reminder of impalpable boundaries, abstract limits and unobtainable foreignness. It is a landscape conversant with Parisian-born Denis, who, like the young France, spent her formative years (1948-1962) in West Africa, where her own father worked as a colonial administrator. (1) It is easy to make an autobiographical connection between Denis and her films. Her childhood experience as a stranger, an Other and an intruder, resonate throughout her body of work, as intangible (but ever present) horizons, divide, oppress and define conditions and experiences. The exchange between father and daughter comes, then, to epitomise Denis’s vision to raise important questions about the figurative lines we draw between us, how we define ourselves and Others and what we define ourselves against.

It is with this image that Denis is revered as one of contemporary Europe’s most distinctive auteurs. Within eight feature films, two feature-length documentaries, and a number of shorts and television segments, Denis examines the lines drawn between black and white, child and adult, the coloniser and the colonised, brother and sister, and soldier and commandant with a quiet distance, privileging visual and aural elements over scenic continuity and psychological realism. Her solidarity with margin-dwellers, immigrants, foreigners and the disenfranchised draws attention to these defining borders of difference, in an attempt to re-articulate dominant representations of race, gender and identity. Taking the form of ‘snapshots’ of moments or experiences, her films have won critical acclaim for their ability to “reconcile the lyricism of French cinema with the impulse to capture the often harsh face of contemporary France” (2), by addressing the themes of immigration, urban dislocation, violence, and the body, with her signature understated æsthetic. They have also garnered support for their innovative examination of the complex encounters between Africa and France, and the tensions arising from the post-colonial landscape. Conversely, Denis’s films have been criticized for their transgressive nature. At Cannes in 2001, her body-horror film, Trouble Every Day (2001), outraged audiences with gruesome scenes of sexual cannibalism (3) and, whilst her unconventional serial-killer film, J’ai pas sommeil (I Can’t Sleep, 1994), was intended to explore the consequences of the intolerance of difference, many viewers misinterpreted the thematic links between homosexuality, immigrants and murder as homophobic and racist. (4) Nevertheless, Denis’s films bring attention to important connections between issues of race, nationality and belonging. They also bring unique and innovative experiments in narrative filmmaking to the spectrum of contemporary European films.

Born in Paris, in 1948, Denis had what she describes as an “itinerant childhood” (5), spending her early years travelling around both France and Africa with her family. Her first contact with cinema was through King Vidor’s War and Peace (1956) and Satyajit Ray’s Pather Panchali (1955), and damaged American war films that she viewed as a child in Africa. Initially studying economics (which she claims was “completely suicidal”), Denis began an active interest in filmmaking when she took up an internship with Télé Niger, “an educational channel teaching literacy via the cinema”, later becoming part of the research department of the INA (Institut National de l’Audiovisuel) in France. (6) She began formal training at the esteemed Paris-based film school La FEMIS (Fondation Européenne pour les Métiers de l’Image et du Son), then known as IDHEC (L’Institut des hautes études cinématographiques), with the encouragement of her husband, a photographer. After graduating in 1971 without the desire to be a director (“I just wanted to take part in events and experiences”), Denis worked as an assistant to New Wave director Jacques Rivette and Robert Enrico. Whilst Denis describes working with Enrico as “a very masochistic experience […] I was so non-conformist that I always being yelled at” (7), her collaboration with Rivette spawned a long-lasting relationship, which more recently gave rise to the television documentary portrait, Jacques Rivette – Le Veilleur (Jacques RivetteThe Nightwatchman, 1990), which Denis co-directed with Serge Daney. The initial collaboration with Rivette also lead to encounters with other filmmakers, such as contemporary Jean-François Stévinen, also an assistant, whose first feature film, Passe-montagne (1978), was a major influence on Denis’s decision to make her own films. (8)

Beau Travail

Before the development of her first feature, Chocolat, in 1988, Denis went on to work as assistant director to Costa-Gavras (Hanna K., 1983) and later to internationally influential directors Wim Wenders (Paris, Texas, 1984, and Der Himmel über Berlin (Wings of Desire), 1987) and Jim Jarmusch (Down By Law, 1986). Jarmusch’s and Wenders’ creative influence is clearly marked, particularly through Denis’s affection for minimal dialogue (with the exception of Nénette et Boni (Nenette and Boni, 1996) and S’en fout la mort (No Fear, No Die, 1990), her features are almost silent), her challenge to traditional modes of narration (narratives do not always follow scenic continuity, and resist traditional shot/counter shot filmmaking), slow-paced narrative and the attention given to music. Denis most recent film, L’Intrus (The Intruder, 2004), has been compared with Jarmusch’s Dead Man (1995), for its examination of the effects of physical intrusion of the body (a bullet, a new heart) and portrayal of an out-of-place traveller. (9) Similarly, Denis’s 1999 breakout film, Beau Travail (Good Work), has been likened to Wenders’ Paris, Texas, for its interest in the myth of the desert as a place of masculine purgatory. (10) Through Wenders and Jarmusch, Denis also came across influential independent American director John Cassavettes, whose gritty mobster film, The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976), was a major influence on her portrait of the underworld of cock-fighting in S’en fout la mort.

Like the films of Wenders and Jarmusch, music plays a major part in Denis’s work. She has maintained a long term relationship with Stuart Staple and the eclectic English cult-group, Tindersticks, who produced the original soundtracks for Nénette et Boni and Trouble Every Day (Staple, on his own, created the soundtrack for L’Intrus), and frequently includes pop songs in her films (almost always American), by Bob Marley, Neil Young, Brian Wilson and Dean Martin. Damon Smith notes that music itself often becomes a character in her films. (11) This is certainly true of Beau Travail, a highly original portrait of the life of French foreign legionaries, wherein Benjamin Britton’s dramatic opera Billy Budd takes on the persona of an over-bearing general, choreographing the soldier’s movements. Denis herself refers to the Brian Wilson song “God Only Knows” as the “third character”, in a silent scene between husband and wife in Nénette et Boni. (12) For Denis, listening to music is also part of the scriptwriting stage. Beau Travail was penned, with John-Pol Fargeau, to the sounds of Britton’s opera and the script development for Nénette et Boni was “completely nourished” by the music of the Tindersticks. Denis comments:

It’s true that music is the origin, it opens free space and I trust that. Music gives an opportunity, even if a scene is soundless or there is dialogue with no music, it could be open and created by music […] it is something that also helps to approach a character, to foresee the type of image. (13)

Along with Denis’s distinctive approach to the use of music, continued collaboration has been a keystone throughout her career. Cinematographer Agnès Godard (whom Denis met on the set of Wenders’ Wings of Desire) has worked with Denis on six of her eight features, whilst screenwriter Jean-Pol Fargeau has sustained a long-standing screenplay collaboration, co-writing six of her films. Denis also rotates a recurrent list of actors, including Alex Descas, Isaach de Bankolé, Béatrice Dalle, Richard Courcet, Grégoire Colin, Alice Houri, Vincent Gallo, Yekaterina Golubeva and Denis Lavant. In line with her highly collaborative work ethic, Denis approaches a film as an “expandable structure”, where space is essentially “invaded” by actors’ (14). Reflecting this ethos, her rehearsal practices and character development are famed for being unorthodox in nature. Rather than rehearse the actual film script, Denis and Fargeau write alternative scenes to be used during rehearsal periods, in order to encourage improvisation during filming. Before filming Beau Travail, the cast were given ‘booklets’ rather than a script, which comprised of the diary of the central character, Galoup (Denis Lavant), and Hermann Melville’s poetry. (15) Similarly, S’en Fout la Mort was rehearsed using Jean Eustache script’s for La Maman et la Putain (1973). (16)

Denis’s first feature, Chocolat (which Wenders helped to secure funding for), examines racial tension, forbidden desire and belonging, themes that would later define her position as a filmmaker. The film explores the relationship between a French colonial family posted in Cameroon during the 1950s and the local community, who they partly employ to assist around the house. When a group of ill-mannered French plane-wreck survivors arrive at the property to wait whilst their aircraft is repaired, the intricate relationships of a racist society and the unspoken desires within the household are exposed. Concurrently, and in a ‘present’ temporal context, the film examines the return of the governor’s adult daughter, France, to West Africa many years later, and her search for a connection with her past and with Africa. We see the film shifting through the eyes of both the child and adult France, and the family’s house ‘boy’, Protée (Isaach De Bankolé), whose solemn presence attracts the desire of the governor’s wife, Aimée (Giulia Boschi). The film is slow-paced, with very limited dialogue, gestures and glances form the major lines of communication. Shot by Godard using only two lenses, the film is stunning in its depiction of the African landscape and the grating incongruity of its French intruders. Denis notes:

When I was making Chocolat I think I had the desire to express a certain guilt I felt as a child raised in a colonial world […] knowing I was white, I tried to be honest in admitting that Chocolat is essentially a white view of the Other. (17)


Denis reflects this position with sensitivity. She does not include scenes with black characters amongst themselves, preferring to include the presence of the French to reinforce the films ‘white’ perspective, and gives her African characters minimal dialogue. There is here a sense that Denis does not wish to create a version of a world, which, as a white-woman, she knows little about. Rather, she allows narrative devices, such as the contrasts between the insensitive arrogance of the group of French plane-wreck survivors and the solemn activities of the locals, to speak loudly for themselves. (18) Similarly, dialogue between black and white characters is predominately reserved for the somewhat protected world of the child (as Protée and the young France’s complex friendship develops), a world which perhaps, as a child growing up in Africa, Denis has significantly more knowledge of.

Denis’s interest in the often-discordant relationship between Africa and France appears in her second feature, S’en fout la mort, and the documentary, Man No Run (1989). Set in contemporary Marseilles, S’en fout la mort tells the story of Dah (Isaach De Bankolé), an immigrant from the West Indies, and Jocelyn (Alex Descas), newly arrived in France from Benin. The two men become entangled in the seedy underworld of cock-fighting, when they are invited by a night-club owner to take up residency in one of his clubs and train the birds. The violence exhibited in the ring by the cocks becomes a symbol of the position of both men as immigrants, as they struggle for acceptance and financial security in their adopted country. The men are literally kept ‘below the surface’ in an underground dwelling provided by the club-owner, which becomes the background for their slide into obsession, violence and forbidden desire. Departing from the open landscapes depicted in Chocolat, the interiors of the film are dark and grimy, and Godard’s camerawork is tight and claustrophobic, imbuing a noir æsthetic that resonates with the film’s thematic concerns of betrayal, seduction and murder. The film was banned from distribution in the UK (it screened at some festivals) for its gruesome scenes of actual cock-fighting. However, it was well received among the Caribbean community in France, familiar with the popular past-time and intimate with the process of immigration. (19)

The curious position of the ex-colonial subject appearing in the country of the coloniser is also explored in Denis’s feature length documentary, Man No Run, which follows the journey of a group of African musicians, Les Têtes Bruleès (The Flaming Heads), who travel for the first time to France on tour. Denis met the band in Cameroon while filming Chocolat and, upon their arrival in France, subsequently joined their travels to document the group’s reactions and encounters with French culture. Man No Run forms part of a number of documentaries created by Denis. She has produced a feature-length documentary on composer Mathilde Monnier (Vers Mathilde, 2005) and a short film on friend and influence Jean-Luc Nancy in Vers Nancy (2002), which portrays a conversation that took place on a train between Nancy and an immigrant French woman on the culturally destructive processes of assimilation and integration. She has also made a one-hour television segment, as part of the series Tous les garçons et les files de leur âge …, entitled US GO HOME (1994), an exploration of a girl’s quest to lose her virginity in the 1960s.

J’ai pas sommeil

Like S’en fout la mort, Denis’s third feature, J’ai pas sommeil (I Can’t Sleep, 1994), addresses issues of immigration and disconnection. Based on the true story of Thierry Paulin, who, with his male lover, murdered more than twenty elderly women in Paris in the 1980s, the film examines the life of three immigrants: Daïga (Yekaterina Golubeva), an aspiring Lithuanian actress with limited opportunities; Camille (Richard Courcet), a beautiful transvestite from Mauritius; and his brother, Theo (Alex Descas), a musician and carpenter who longs to return to his homeland. The film, one of the most dialogue-heavy of Denis’s features, situates each character as an ‘intruder’ within the nexus of the Parisian landscape, which is itself being disturbed by the rampant ‘granny-killer’. Faced with the persistent pressure of assimilation (Daïga is told numerous times to learn French, Theo is told by his wife to give up his dream of returning home, and Däiga and Camille are both asked gruffly for their ‘papers’), each character is confronted with division and marginalisation, finding brief moments of solace among their respective expatriate communities. The narrative is fragmented and leaves episodes unresolved; we know little about each desperate and isolated life, yet we recognise how it is situated as Other. In examining each outsider and their future, the film ultimately explores the consequences of the intolerance of difference at the cost of murder, escape and dejection.

Denis’s fourth feature, Nénette et Boni, departs from issues of immigration; however, it shares with J’ai pas sommeil a solely French location. The film explores familial dysfunction and the boundaries of the sibling relationship when Boni (Grégoire Colin) is re-united with his estranged and pregnant younger sister, Nénette (Alice Houri). Faced with the inevitability of his immature and emotionally fractured sister’s impending motherhood, Boni’s innate capacity for sibling devotion, selflessness and personal responsibility are awakened. Amidst the background of their mother’s suicide and father’s estrangement, the siblings create a complex alliance, based on mutual needs for love and tenderness. Boni’s teeming desire for the local baker’s wife and his lurid descriptions of sexual fantasies in his depreciating self-titled diary, Confessions of a Wimp, reveal a desire to love and be loved, which Nénette’s unwanted child can potentially offer.

Denis’s most acclaimed film, Beau Travail (screened at Berlin and Rotterdam), reiterates her earlier themes of displacement, intrusion and isolation. Inspired by Herman Melville’s story, Billy Budd, Sailor: An Inside Narrative, the film was commissioned by La Sept/ARTE for a series entitled Terres étrangers – Foreign Lands, which raised the question: What does it mean to go abroad? This is a question repeatedly faced by Denis in the thematic content of her films. Centring the regimented lifestyle of a group of French foreign legionnaire’s posted in Djibouti, the film pursues the question with a highly choreographed and theatrical portrait of foreign bodies amongst the desert landscape. The pivotal arrival of diligent newcomer to the Legion, Gilles Sentain (Grégoire Colin), ignites both the jealousy and forbidden desire of General Galoup (Denis Lavant), and the film’s trajectory follows the downward spiral that eventually leads to his expulsion. Dance and rhythm are important to the film. There is almost no dialogue; rather, it relies upon Britton’s dramatic opera to build tension in the manner of a Greek tragedy. Much of the film is devoted to the sculpture of the male body and the regimented daily routine of the soldiers, which overtly contrasts with the free-flowing daily rhythms of the locals.

Trouble Every Day

Departing from the African location and associated post-colonial themes, Trouble Every Day explores the boundaries of desire and the potential consequences of the advent of advanced medical technology. Echoing the body-horror and scientific themes of contemporaries David Cronenberg and Dario Argento, the film investigates the gruesome effects of a virus, which, when contracted, turns its hosts into cannibals who attack victims upon sexual arousal. Vincent Gallo plays Shane, an infected newlywed returning to Paris on his honeymoon, where he once participated in clinical trails. Here, he reunites with Coré (Beatrice Dalle), who has also contracted the virus and who is kept locked away by her husband to prevent her committing further acts of sexual violence. The film is Denis’s most widely criticised. It is hyper-violent and explicit – the scenes of rape and sexual cannibalism are difficult to watch. In defence of her film, which was notoriously ridiculed at Cannes, Denis remarked that the film is not

explicit or violent. It’s actually a love story. It’s about desire and how close the kiss is to the bite. I think every mother wants to eat her baby with love. We just took this on to a new frontier. (20)

Reiterating her use of borders and boundaries to draw attention to limits, the film uses violence as a vehicle to explore excessive desire and its materialisation in physical form. Throughout many of Denis’s films, the body is seen as the site of potential danger or transgression. The recurrent intrusion of the body, in particular, functions to highlight the border between self and Other (the abject?), and to evoke the powerful histories of colonialism and racism. In Trouble Every Day, we see the body both intruded by a virus and violated through rape and cannibalism, whilst for Nénette, in Nénette et Boni, the pregnant body is a site of disgust, of rejection and invasion. For Camille in J’ai pas sommeil, the black, immigrant, homosexual, transvestite body is the site of multiple identity tensions.

As a writer-director, Denis has a long-term affinity with literature and storytelling. As a child, instead of telling her stories, her mother, a lover of the cinema, would ‘tell’ her films. She also read adventure stories, taking delight in the tales of Jack London, Stevenson and Conrad, and detective novels such as the popular Serie Noire and Masque. (21) This initial interest in literature has continued throughout Denis’s film career.

Vendredi Soir

Vendredi Soir (Friday Night, 2002) is adapted from the novel of the same name by compatriot Emmanuèle Bernheim. The almost silent film (co-written with Bernheim) explores the brief sexual encounter between Laure (Valérie Lemercier), who is on her way to move into her partner’s house, and Jean (Vincent Lindon), who meet one night in a traffic jam in Paris. The film employs elements of magic realism (lampshades dance, letters appear from nowhere) to emphasize the departure from reality that the routine-altering traffic jam ignites. In a new direction for Denis, the film centralises a female character. Aside from Vendredi Soir and J’ai pas sommeil we come to sympathise predominately with black male characters in her films. Judith Mayne suggests that the prevalence of the male body and the role of the woman as quiet observer functions to undermine the paradigm of the male gaze. (22) In Vendredi Soir, it is through Laure’s eyes that we gaze longingly at Jean’s naked body. Similarly, in Beau Travail, we see the sculptured body as beautiful machine; in Chocolat, Protée’s constantly shirtless body attracts the desire of Aimee, whilst in J’ai pas sommeil Collette’s elegant physique is the site of homosexual desire. Conversely, Nênnette rejects motherhood (it is Boni who finds solace in fatherhood), and only women fall victim to the ‘granny killer’ in J’ai pas sommeil, in a reaction against his homosexuality and ultimate desire to be a woman.

Similarly, L’Intrus (2004), which was nominated for a Golden Lion at the 2004 Venice Film Festival, was inspired by French philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy’s text of the same name. Nancy’s autobiographical account of a heart transplant explores the notion of grafting, intrusion and the paradoxes of identity. Denis relates these themes in L’Intrus, through her portrayal of Louis Trebor (Michel Subor) and his quest to locate his son and a replacement for his failing heart. Themes of transplantation, assimilation, rejection and identity expound into broader cultural and social themes beyond the medical heart transplant, to once again examine the themes of difference and Otherness.

After L’Intrus, Denis made 35 rhums (2008), still to be widely seen, and White Material, which is in post-production.

Nénette et Boni

For Denis, succumbing to desire, more often that not, has detrimental effects. In Trouble Every Day, Coré (Beatrice Dalle) is so consumed by her desire that it causes her death, and, for Nénette, surrendering to desire causes an unwanted pregnancy. In Chocolat, adult France’s desire to revisit Cameroon years after her repatriation to France is met with a feeling of unwelcomeness and, in Beau Travail, Galoup’s displaced desire for the young Sentain inadvertently leads to his expulsion from the army. Yet, with the downfall that desire brings to each of these characters, there is also a process of re-birth. Witnessing the ultimate downfall of the also infected Coré, and engaging in a shocking act of cannibalism himself, Shane escapes France, back to the US, where we are lead to believe that he will recover. For Boni, Nénette’s baby offers the opportunity to love and to create a family, and freedom for Galoup is finally found in death (or fantasy death?), where he is free to dance to his own rhythm. Meanwhile, France, it can be assumed, has answered her own questions about her identity and belonging in her realisation that she no longer has a connection with an Afrocentric past or future and chooses to leave Cameroon. There is a suggestion here that acts of transgression can bring with them the opportunity to obscure the boundaries that divide us, allowing for a re-organization of the order of things. In line with Denis’s approach to the breach of figurative lines of difference, transgression offers the opportunity for the renewal or the re-establishment of limits.

Ultimately, the films of Claire Denis ask us to examine the lines that divide us and to confront the Other. The intrusion of the body, of borders, of culture and of limits, asks both Denis’s characters and her audience to come face to face with difference. Intrusion unwillingly invites us look at what lines are being crossed and, subsequently, what transgressions are taking place. It ultimately forces us to front things we might not otherwise (welcome or not). In doing so, Denis resists romanticism or the projection of an idealised subjectivity in her depiction of the Other. Rather, her characters grapple with their parameters in quiet worlds of observation. The silence of Protée, Jocelyn, Dah, Camille and Däiga is symptomatic of Denis’s sensitivity. We know little about these characters in any concrete way; we guess their motivations. This gives them complexity. Rather than have complete knowledge of the Other, we are left to determine what their subjectivity might be.


  1. Damon Smith, “L’Intrus: An Interview with Claire Denis”, Senses of Cinema, No. 35 (April-June 2005), p. 2.
  2. Charles Taylor, “Beau Travail”, Salon.com, March 2000, p. 1.
  3. Fiachra Gibbons and Stuart Jeffries, “Cannes audience left open-mouthed”, The Guardian, 11 May 2001, p. 1.
  4. Claire Denis and Jonathan Romney, “Claire Denis Interviewed by Jonathan Romney”, The Guardian (online, 2000), p. 5-6, cited 11 May 2008.
  5. Aimé Ancian, “Claire Denis: An Interview”, translated by Inge Pruks, Senses of Cinema, No. 23 (November-December 2002), p. 1.
  6. Ibid, p. 2.
  7. Ibid, p. 2.
  8. Ibid, p. 3.
  9. Denis in interview with Smith, 2005 p. 12.
  10. David Jasper, The Sacred Desert: Religion, Literature, Art, and Culture (Boston: Blackwell, 2004), p. 137.
  11. Smith, p. 2.
  12. Denis and Romney, p. 7.
  13. Ibid, p. 8.
  14. Denis and Ancian, p. 8.
  15. Forbes, 2004, p. 4.
  16. Denis and Romeny, p. 4.
  17. Judith Mayne, “Foreign Bodies in the Films of Claire Denis”, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 51.43 (1 July 1 2005), p. 36-7.
  18. Katherine Asals, “The Silent, Black Centre in the Early Features of Claire Denis”, Cineaction, 71 (Winter 2007), pp. 2-5.
  19. Denis and Romney, p. 5.
  20. Gibbons and Jefferies, 2001, p.1.
  21. Denis and Ancian, p. 1.
  22. Mayne, p. 5.


Chocolat (1988)

Man No Run (1989)

S’en fout la mort (1990)

Jacques Rivette – Le Veilleur (1990) television episode

J’ai pas sommeil (1994)

US Go Home (1994) television episode

Nénette et Boni (1996)

Beau travail (1999)

Trouble Every Day (2001)

Vendredi soir (2002)

L’Intrus (2004)

Vers Mathilde (2005)

35 rhums (2008)

White Material (2009)

Bastards (2013)

Venice 70: Future Reloaded (2013)

Let the Sun Shine In, 2017)


Aimé Ancian, “Claire Denis: An Interview”, translated by Inge Pruks, Senses of Cinema, No. 23 (November-December 2002).

Katherine Asals, “The Silent, Black Centre in the Early Features of Claire Denis”, Cineaction, 71 (Winter 2007), pp. 2-8.

David Jasper, “Films of the Desert: Pier Paulo Pasolini, Wim Wenders, and Claire Denis”, in The Sacred Desert: Religion, Literature, Art and Culture. (Boston: Blackwell Publishing UK, 2004), pp. 130-41.

Fiachra Gibbons and Stuart Jeffries, “Cannes audience left open-mouthed”, The Guardian, 11 May 2001.

Adrian Martin, “Ticket to ride: Claire Denis and the cinema of the body”, Screening the Past, 2006.

Judith Mayne, “Foreign Bodies in the Films of Claire Denis”, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 51.43 (1 July 1 2005)

Forbes Morlock, “Solid Cinema: Claire Denis’s Strange Solidarities”, Journal of European Studies, 34.1-2 (March June 2004), p. 82.

Jean-Philippe Renouard and Lise Wajeman, “The Weight of Here and Now: Conversation with Claire Denis”, Journal of European Studies, 34. 1-2 (March-June 2004), p. 19 (15).

Damon Smith, “L’Intrus: An Interview with Claire Denis”, Senses of Cinema, No. 35 (April-June 2005).

Charles Taylor, “Beau Travail”, Salon.com, March 2000.

Claire Denis and Jonathan Romney, “Claire Denis Interviewed by Jonathan Romney”, The Guardian (online, 2000), cited 11 May 2008.

Articles in Senses of Cinema

Aimé Ancian, “Claire Denis: An Interview”, translated by Inge Pruks, Senses of Cinema, No. 23 (November-December 2002).

Aimé Ancian, “Making Contact: Claire Denis’ Vendredi soir”, translated by Inge Pruks and William D. Routt, Senses of Cinema, No. 23 (November-December 2002).

Adrian Danks, “Travellin’ Light”, Senses of Cinema, No. 31 (April–June 2004).

Paul Grant, “Jacques Rivette – Le veilleur”, Senses of Cinema, No. 42 (January–March 2007).

Darren Hughes, “Dancing Reveals So Much: An Interview with Claire Denis”, Senses of Cinema, No. 50 (2009).

John Orr, “Claire Denis by Martine Beugnet ”, Senses of Cinema, No. 37 (October–December 2005).

Diana Sandars, “Chocolat”, Senses of Cinema, No. 17 (November–December 2001).

Damon Smith, “L’Intrus: An Interview with Claire Denis”, Senses of Cinema, No. 35 (April-June 2005).

R. Emmet Sweeney, “The Hither Side of Solutions: Bodies and Landscape in L’intrus”, Senses of Cinema, No. 36 (July–September 2005).

Tamara Tracz, “Beau travail”, Senses of Cinema, No. 42 (January–March 2007).

José Sarmiento, “Electra Revisited: On Claire Denis’ 35 rhums“, Senses of Cinema, No. 63 (June 2012).

Saige Walton, “Gestures of Intimacy: Claire Denis’ I Can’t Sleep” Senses of Cinema, No. 63 (June 2012).

Web Resources

Claire Denis and Jonathan Romney, “Claire Denis Interviewed by Jonathan Romney”, The Guardian (online, 2000), cited 11 May 2008.

Adrian Martin, Ticket to ride: Claire Denis and the cinema of the body, Screening the Past, 2006.


About The Author

Samantha Dinning is a Cinema Management student at the University of Melbourne, with an interest in French film, feminist filmmaking and indigenous film histories.

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