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The Films of Claire Denis: Intimacy on the Border

The Films of Claire Denis: Intimacy on the Border

Edited by: Marjorie Vecchio | Foreword by: Wim Wenders

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The films of Claire Denis, one of the most challenging and respected of contemporary filmmakers, probe the psyche of global citizenship, tracing the borderlines of family, desire, nationality and power. With subtlety, depth and at times minimalism and abstraction, her films - including "Chocolat", "Beau travail" and "White Material" - explore connections between national experience and individual circumstance, visualizing the complications of such dualities. Following a Foreword by Wim Wenders, with whom Denis worked prior to making her own movies, international contributors explore the themes she addresses in her films, such as kinship and landscape, Neo-Colonialism and New French Extremity. Original interviews with an editor, actor and two composers most familiar with the working style of Denis, and with Denis herself, also reveal fresh facets of this intrepid filmmaker. As Wim Wenders writes in his Foreword: 'This book will hopefully throw many new lights on the amazing director that Klarchen [Claire Denis] became, a path she carved out all on her own.'

Table of Contents

Marjorie Vecchio

Forward: “Klarchen”
Wim Wenders

Part I Interviews

‘To Let The Image Sing’: Conversations with Stuart Staples and Dickon Hinchliffe
Martine Beugnet

Interview with Nelly Quettier
Interview with Alex Descas
Kirsten Johnson

Interview with Claire Denis, by Jean-Luc Nancy Video Interview Filmed for this Book by Hendrik Speck (Trans. Nathalie Le Galloudec)
Jean-Luc Nancy

Part II Relations

La Famille Denis
Catherine Wheatley

Reinventing Community, or Non-Relational Relations in Claire Denis’s I Can’t Sleep
Sam Ishii-Gonzales

Beyond the Other: Grafting Relations in the Films of Claire Denis
James S. Williams

Part III Global Citizens

Beyond Post-Colonialism? From Chocolat to White Material
Cornelia Ruhe

Trouble Every Day: The Neo-Colonialists Bite Back
Florence Martin

Foreignness and Employment: A Study of the Role of Work in the Films of Claire Denis
Rafael Ruiz Pleguezuelos

The Intruder According to Claire Denis (Trans. Anna Moschovakis)
Jean-Luc Nancy

Part IV Within Film

Delivering: Claire Denis’s Opening Sequences
Noelle Rouxel-Cubberly

Rhythms of Relationality: Denis and Dance
Laura McMahon

That Interrupting Feeling: Interstitial Disjunctions in Claire Denis’s L’Intrus
Firoza Elavia

Points of Flight, Lines of Fracture: Claire Denis’s Uncanny Landscape
Henrik Gustafsson

Arthouse/Grindhouse: Claire Denis and the “New French Extremity”
Adam Nayman and Andrew Tracy

Author Info

Since 1999 Marjorie (Marji) Vecchio curated over 40 exhibitions, worked with 250 artists, published numerous authors in over twenty catalogues, and commissioned many professional and emerging print designers. She developed solo, two---person, group and large survey exhibitions based on a variety of subjects, themes and formal concerns, as well as designed residencies and workshops for filmmakers, scholars and artists alike. Before becoming a curator, Vecchio was a photographic artist for eleven years. From 2006 - 2012 she was Director and Curator for Sheppard Fine Arts Gallery, University of Nevada, Reno. She has been a Board Member since 2012 of Signal Fire Artist Residency. In Fall 2009 she won the inaugural semester---long Scholar---in-Residence at Columbus State University in Georgia to begin this book.


'This book compiles insightful essays and interviews concerning the work of one of the most innovative and particular narrative filmmakers of our time - Claire Denis. I feel so lucky to have this remarkable body of films accessible to my consciousness. Thank you, Claire Denis.'
Jim Jarmusch 

'Claire Denis's films are unequalled in contemporary cinema in their political rigour, sensitivity, artistic verve, and sheer sensuality. This beautiful, exploratory book responds to these films through interviews with the director and her collaborators, photographs and tributes, and through a series of coruscating critical essays from the finest writers in the field.'
Emma Wilson, Professor of French Literature and the Visual Arts, Cambridge University

'Marjorie Vecchio has put together a stunning volume, full of intellectual verve and breathtaking insight that throws light on the work and critical impact of Claire Denis. Unpretentious yet spot on in terms of philosophical framing, the contributions will occupy a central place in the ever-growing archives of film criticism and the theoretical soundtrack that accompany every screening of our ability to think.'
Avital Ronell, Professor in the Departments of Germanic Languages and Literature and Comparative Literature, New York University

‘Vecchio’s beautifully designed anthology is a worthy tribute […] consistently first-rate critical essays [...] Vecchio has curated a brilliant volume, one that takes art as seriously as philosophy and politics.’
S.C. Dillon, CHOICE

'This fine collection of essays on Claire Denis... provokes substantive thought.'
Cultural Politics, Duke University Press

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.

ISBN: 9781848859548
Publication Date: 29 Jul 2014
Number of Pages: 288
Height: 234
Width: 156
Illustrations: 34 integrated b/w illustrations

ISBN: 9781848859531
Publication Date: 29 Jul 2014
Number of Pages: 288
Height: 234
Width: 156
Illustrations: 34 integrated b/w illustrations

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