Adrian Martin on Clare Denis

May 14, 2012 — Leave a comment

“… plot – or rather, plotting – is not an insignificant matter for Denis. Her films strike us with their spare but strong moments of fiction – a murder, a fateful encounter, a confrontation, an escape – and also with the half-buried network of fictional connections that gives the films their tremulous ‘inner-life’ … she and her regular collaborator Jean-Pol Fargeau work out this basic network or diagram of relations in the story: what does each character see, whom do they look that; what are the lines of desire, or hatred; who tells which part of the story; significant backstory elements connecting the characters in their shared over-lapping pasts; the real or imaginary status of each event. Yet, once this template, with its logic, is in place, Denis’ work as an artist seems top involve a process of complicating that network, confounding it, punching holes in it, making it mysterious. She too (like bluesman Robert Johnson) deliberatley creates “too many missing terms and too much dual existence” for us to grasp entirely.”

(Adrian Martin on filmmaker Clare Denis)


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