No Fear: The Films of Claire Denis

Wednesday, November 10 - Thursday, November 18, 2010

“There’s no better filmmaker working in the world right now.” – Sight and Sound

“No one in modern cinema has a more elastic syntax, the guts to build each movie according to its subject from the atoms up… see them all.” – David Edelstein, New York Magazine

“The retrospective’s title, ‘No Fear: The Films of Claire Denis,’ evokes the spirit of a director with the heart of an explorer.” – Stephen Holden, The New York Times

We’re proud to present “No Fear: The Films of Claire Denis,” the most extensive retrospective of Denis’s work ever presented in New York, including all of her fiction feature films, two of her documentary features, a short made for an omnibus film, and three films by other filmmakers that she worked on early in her career and that were instrumental in launching her as a director.

Born in Paris in 1948 into the family of a French colonial administrator, Claire Denis spent her childhood in West Africa. She studied filmmaking at the prestigious film school IDHEC (now FEMIS) in Paris, and after graduating, worked as an assistant to New Wave legend Jacques Rivette, about whom she later made the portrait JACQUES RIVETTE – THE WATCHMAN for the “Cinema of Our Times” series. She went on to work with other noted international directors, including Costa-Gavras, Wim Wenders and Jim Jarmusch, before writing and directing her first feature, CHOCOLAT (1988).

Ranging from the African landscape of CHOCOLAT that she revisits in BEAU TRAVAIL and WHITE MATERIAL to the multicultural, urban France of I CAN’T SLEEP, NO FEAR, NO DIE and 35 SHOTS OF RUM, Denis’s powerfully visual work explores the dynamics of belonging and the lives of outsiders, as well as the underlying potential for violence that can exist in even the most mundane relationships. Over the years, she has also worked repeatedly with a select group of actors-including Isaach de Bankolé, Alex Descas, Vincent Gallo and Grégoire Colin–in a series of collaborations that span decades.

WHITE MATERIAL, Denis’s latest film, opens Friday, November 19.

Series Films