Directed by Claire Denis
As visually beautiful as it is structurally surreal, Claire Denis’ take on the French Legionnaires is infused with masculine sexual tension. Beau travail exploits the austere East African landscape as a stage for a standoff between a young recruit (Grégoire Colin) and his sociopathic sergeant (Denis Lavant), both vying for their commanding officer’s attention. A variant on Herman Melville’s Billy Budd, this mesmerizing film is one of Denis’ most critically acclaimed: “tactile in its cinematography, inventive in its camera placement, and sensuous in its editing” (Village Voice). In French with English subtitles. 1999, 35mm, 90 minutes.