Vers Mathilde

Monday, November 15, 2010

Playing with Denis’s short Pour Ushari Ahmed Mahmoud! From the director who has given contemporary cinema some of its most breathtakingly choreographed moments (has ironing ever looked better than it did in Beau Travail?), VERS MATHILDE documents Claire Denis’ encounter with Mathilde Monnier, the head of the Centre Chorégraphique National de Montpellier and France’s foremost contemporary choreographer. Wrongly dismissed as minor or obscure, this largely unseen dance documentary is classic Denis, but a freer, more spontaneous Denis, making it a must for both dance fans and cinephiles. Shot in Super 8 and 16mm by the incredibly talented Agnès Godard, Denis’ longtime collaborator, and by newcomer Hélène Louvant, VERS MATHILDE is a portrait of Monnier in action, working on an experimental dance piece. But more than that, the film captures a sensuous pas-de-deux between Denis and Monnier, two virtuosic artists whose strong affinities for one another produce a tremulous tension that hovers beneath the film’s grainy surface. (Note the uncanny physical resemblance between the two.) As Denis advances vers Mathilde, a charming, unscripted, inspired, and sexy film emerges, with a number of astonishing images to add to the filmmaker’s coveted collection. Featuring music by PJ Harvey. – Cinematheque Ontario

Digital projection

  • Country France
  • Rating NR
  • Year 2005
  • Running Time 84 minutes
  • Director Claire Denis