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Vers Mathilde

filmmaker : Claire Denis
Composer : PJ Harvey
France, 2004
Production : Celluloid Dreams


Filming a work in progress, Claire Denis follows the French choreographer Mathilde Monnier for the duration of a creation. From writing to directing, the relationship to the body is approached in all its angles, showing the common language of two artists and weaving infinite bridges between dance and cinema.

En partenariat avec Visions du Réel.

Tënk's film review

"In each gesture there is resistance and abandonment". It is with these words that the French choreographer Mathilde Monnier expresses her relationship to dance and more precisely to the body. Claire Denis has followed her throughout her creation, from writing to directing and through the rehearsals. Let's admit that cinema is a skin, we can therefore understand the reasons why the filmmaker alternates between the use of super 8 and 16mm. Finding the right material, the ideal texture, this is part of the research that brings the two artists together in their approches. From the discreet presence of the camera is born a constant attention to gestures, leaving it to each spectator to follow the curves drawn by the film. In the end, this film suggests that cinema and dance share the same language, where it is no longer clear who feeds off the other. With infinite delicacy, Claire Denis films the future of a dance piece as a process of desire.

Tom Bidou
Visions du Réel


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Claire Denis

Claire Denis is a French filmmaker and screenwriter born in 1948. At a very young age, she left France to live in Somalia and Burkina Faso where her father worked. Back in Paris, she studied at the IDHEC, where she graduated in 1972 and started working in cinema as an assistant to the great directors: Rivette, Jarmusch, Wenders. It was in the desert landscapes of the shooting of "Paris, Texas" that she found the inspiration for her first semi-autobiographical feature film "Chocolat" (1988). With "S'en fout la mort" (1990), immersed in the world of cockfighting in the Parisian suburbs, and "J'ai pas sommeil" (1994), the filmmaker built a very personal, harsh and nocturnal universe. Representing women's cinema, Claire Denis has established herself in the French landscape as one of the most important authors, notably with films such as "Beau Travail" in 1999 and two years later "Trouble Every Day". In 2010, Claire Denis was president of the Un Certain Regard jury at the 63rd Cannes Film Festival. That year, she also directed "White Material" with Isabelle Huppert. Three years later, she was once again invited to Cannes, but this time as a competitor for "Les Salauds". In 2017, she signs "Un beau soleil intérieur" shot with Juliette Binoche.

Other films in the collection: Arts