Courtesy of New Yorker Films

Screening
Beau Travail

Dir. Claire Denis. 1999, 90 mins. 35mm. With Denis Lavant, Grégoire Colin. Denis transplants Herman Melville’s Billy Budd to the French Foreign Legion in Djibouti in this transcendent film which brought her cinema to new heights of visual poetry. She creates an insular, homoerotic world in which a drama plays out between a master sergeant (Lavant, of Holy Motors) and a handsome new recruit (Colin) whose immaculateness he finds both attractive and alarming. Nearly every shot is a stunner in this sensual experience, which many consider Denis’s very best film.

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