- Beau Travail
- Claire Denis
“Extraordinary … Prepare to be blown away.”Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Haunting and hypnotic, French luminary Claire Denis’s consensus masterpiece re-imagines Melville’s Billy Budd as a tale of erotic desire, repression, and jealousy set in the French Foreign Legion. Leos Carax regular Denis Lavant is drill sergeant Galoup, overseeing raw recruits at an output in Djibouti. Galoup secretly harbours feelings for his commander, Bruno Forestier (Michel Subor). The arrival of Sentain (Grégoire Colin), an attractive young solder, arouses further feelings of desire — but also envy and obsession. Denis’s elliptical approach to storytelling renders this all-male world with well-etched small details. The soundtrack excerpts Benjamin Britten’s Billy Budd opera and ’90s Neil Young, while elements of dance inform the strikingly balletic choreography of certain scenes. The Bruno character first appeared in Godard’s 1960 film Le Petit Soldat, where he was also played by Subor! Beau Travail is a stunning, shimmering work of uncommon poetry and visual beauty. We’re pleased to present this virtual encore of the beautiful new 4K restoration first screened at The Cinematheque last fall.
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“Thrilling … A gorgeous mirage of a movie.”Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
“Spellbinding … None of this gifted French filmmaker’s previous work has prepared us for the voluptuous austerity of Beau Travail.”Stephen Holden, New York Times