The Regis Dialogue and Retrospective program, now in its 22nd year, has brought some of today’s most innovative and influential filmmakers to the Walker Cinema to talk in-depth about their work. Claire Denis joins writer/critic Eric Hynes in a discussion of her creative process, influences, and the films she’s made over the course of some 25 years.
Denis is one of the distinctive filmmakers working today, but she started her career first as an assistant to Jacques Rivette, Roberto Enrico, and Costa-Gavras, then as assistant director to Wim Wenders and Jim Jarmusch, who have both influenced Denis’ minimal dialogue and penchant for slow-paced narratives. Ongoing collaboration with a preferred cast, including Alex Descas, Isaach de Bankolé, Béatrice Dalle, Grégoire Colin, and Vincent Gallo, as well as cinematographer Agnès Godard and the English cult-band Tindersticks, creates an atypical signature to her films.
Hynes, a New York–based film critic and reporter, writes regularly for the Village Voice, Time Out New York, and Slate.com as well as Cinema Scope, Film Comment, Artforum, the Guardian (US), and the New York Times. He has been a staff writer for the online film journal Reverse Shot since 2003, where he’s also the host and coproducer of the Reverse Shot Talkies video series.
The Walker Art Center has a long history of supporting Claire Denis’ films, starting with a retrospective in 1998 and continuing with the screenings of Beau travail in 2000, Friday Night in 2003, Vers Mathilde in 2006, and 35 Shots of Rum in 2010, all as a part of the Women with Vision program.