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The Original Sin of Claire Denis

June 2019

We showcase selected works from a filmmaker who revels in sensuality, atmosphere and the highs and lows of human nature.

Introduction by season programmer Sophie Monks Kaufman

Claire Denis


“Not to have love or pain in your heart means that you are not a very well finished human being”
Claire Denis

‘I guess my films are made out of tenderness and love for human beings even when they can be very brutal,’ Denis said in 2018. She knows herself well; contrasting emotional landscapes colour everything she’s made. The balance sometimes tilts towards brutality (the blood-soaked ears of corn in Bastards) and sometimes towards tenderness (the camera tracing body parts in Vendredi Soir): this season of 10 films moves from one pole to the other. Mysterious atmospheres electrified by sensuality are a motif of her films, as are the primal sounds of Tindersticks, the visions of cinematographer Agnès Godard and the faces of actors she loves to work with, faces which – with the exception of Alex Descas – run more towards dramatic features than classical beauty: Grégoire Colin’s sharp nose, Béatrice Dalle’s gap teeth and Michel Subor’s cold eyes.

Sophie Monks Kaufman


See our Woman with a Movie Camera summit, and a special event on early women filmmakers

Enjoy a complimentary French 75 cocktail @ Brasserie Blanc!
All BFI film ticket holders can enjoy a free ‘French 75’ cocktail when they dine at Brasserie Blanc. Simply flash your ticket stub upon arrival.*

*Only valid for those who dine with Brasserie Blanc, ordering at least one main course each from the à la carte menu.

French 75 cocktail


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