Claire Marie Claudette Denis is a French film director, screenwriter, and producer. Her films are noted for their slow pacing, dark subtexts, and resistance to standard plot structures. She has been called the greatest female director of her generation by several critics. In addition to her work as a director, she also has served as a script supervisor on other directors’ films—most notably Krzystof Kieslowski’s “The Red.
Claire Denis Filmography
The first five films on this list Claire Denis both wrote and directed. The last five she only directed. She has also served as a script supervisor on other directors’ films. She has not, however, written all of the scripts for her films. The last three films are documentaries about her mentors and heroes: James Baldwin, Jim Jarmusch, and William Faulkner.
Eden in April
This is Claire’s first film, written while she was still a student at IDHEC. It is a semi-autobiographical tale of a young girl’s memory of her childhood in 1950s Paris. While it is not an “official” Claire Denis film, it is still a fascinating and important film because of the themes she explores in it. The film was re-released in 2014.
One of the first films Claire wrote, but did not direct. This film is most noted for being one of the first films to feature a fully and intentionally non-white cast in a non-racialized way. It is also a great exploration of female sexuality and desire and certainly one of the sexiest films ever made.
Another early film that Claire did not direct, Friday evening is a fascinating film about two men who meet and are drawn to each other. They go out for dinner and drinks and talk about their life experiences. As the night progresses, one of the men begins to reveal dark and difficult truths from his past. A provocative film that is both beautiful and also painful to watch.
Negroes and Mâ Cherne
This is a documentary about Aimé Césaire, a French poet and politician. Claire Denis was a script supervisor for this film, which was directed by Jean-Louis Comolli. This documentary explores Césaire’s poem “Mâ Cherne” and how it was influenced by the poet’s experience of French colonialism in Martinique.
This is Claire’s most successful film. It won a Palme d’Or at Cannes and was both commercially and critically successful. It is a film about three Sri Lankan Tamil refugees who have forged identities as a family and now live in a suburb of Paris. When violence breaks out in their neighborhood, they decide to flee to Great Britain. It is a compelling and beautiful film about the difficulties of family and the struggle to find connection and belonging.
No Fear, No die
This is another documentary about Aimé Césaire. It explores the influence of his poem “No fear, no die” on various key cultural figures including James Baldwin, Che Guevara, and Paul Robeson. The film combines interviews with these figures with footage of Césaire himself reading the poem.
Letter From the Dead
This is the documentary Claire made about James Baldwin. It was released in 2016 and explores Baldwin’s life and work through interviews with scholars and friends. It also includes readings of Baldwin’s work by a wide range of actors, including Samuel L. Jackson, Whoopi Goldberg, and Jamie Foxx. The Promise This is Claire’s most recent film. It is a sweeping historical epic about the Armenian Genocide by the Ottoman Empire in 1915. The film uses a love story to explore the promise of a better life that is always deferred and how this open-ended future is always first and foremost about survival. The Disenchanted This is a documentary about William Faulkner that explores his life and work through interviews with scholars and friends. It also includes readings of Faulkner’s work by a wide range of actors, including Sean Penn, Benecio del Toro, and Michael Shannon. Frere Solaire: Epilogue This is a documentary about the French photographer Etienne J-L. Dumas. It explores Dumas’s work and the history of black-and-white photography through interviews with scholars and friends of Dumas. It also includes readings of Dumas’s work by a wide range of actors, including Samuel L. Jackson and Isabelle Huppert.
Claire Marie Claudette Denis is a French film director, screenwriter, and producer. Her films are noted for their slow pacing, dark subtexts, and resistance to standard plot structures. She has been called the greatest female director of her generation by several critics. In addition to her work as a director, she also has served as a script supervisor on other directors’ films most notably Krzystof Kieslowski’s “The Red and the Black” and “The White” and Herzog’s “Wings of Hope”. Denis has been described as an “existentialist” filmmaker who explores the “interior life.” She has also been described as a “cinephile” who is interested in “the creation of images.” She has received many awards, including several Césars, the Berlin Prize, a MacArthur Fellowship, and the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Foreign Language Film.