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Spotlight Cinema: Beau Travail
October 7 @ 7:00 pm - October 14 @ 7:00 pm
Spotlight Cinema kicks off with a gleaming restoration of Claire Denis’s 1999 masterpiece Beau Travail, a film whose incalculable influence on art cinema over the past 20 years can be detected in numerous past and present Spotlight Cinema selections.
Denis’s poetic adaptation of Herman Melville’s Billy Budd transplants the action to a French foreign legion base in the sunbaked deserts of Djibouti, where a sergeant (Denis Lavant, Holy Motors), becomes obsessed with a new recruit. Amid this hothouse of desire, Denis and cinematographer Agnes Godard render military drills with the precision and tactile sensuality of a dance film.
For all its influence and acclaim, good copies of Beau Travail have long proved elusive—this ravishing presentation cements its place in the art cinema canon.
“A gorgeous mirage of a movie… a masterpiece” – Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader.