Un beau soleil intérieur (Claire Denis, 2017)

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hearthesilence
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:22 am
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Un beau soleil intérieur (Claire Denis, 2017)

#1 Post by hearthesilence » Sun May 06, 2018 11:51 pm

Surprised no one has written about this yet, especially when it already premiered at the NYFF in October and opened in France a week or two earlier.

The title is pretty cloying. Getting that out of the way, this is a great film and for me her strongest work since 35 Shots of Rum. Worth seeing twice, not because it's difficult - it's very accessible - but because it's a fairly rich and layered work. A pretty verbose film, a transcript of the dialogue would probably read like a fully realized play, but what Denis makes of this material is quite remarkable. (And the way she does it look effortless as well.)

The editing throughout the film is exceptional, particularly a long scene between Isabella and an actor who may or may not be offering an opportunity - in a conversation where direct questions can't be asked and a listener is poring over every word as soon as it's spoken, she knows exactly when to show which party and how close she needs to show them.

In another scene built on the tension of asking a question Isabelle is embarrassed to ask, knowing when to cut is crucial - any cut will disrupt/relax the tension, but filmed as a long and static take, the scene would probably deflate if held too long. She drops in one brief shot, and looking back, there's really no other place that would have worked as well.

And much has been made of the dialogue. film has the luxury of dealing with intelligent and articulate characters - but the men also give away quite a bit about what they want themselves when they're talking to Isabelle about someone else. It's all wonderfully written and impeccably acted.

Juliette Binoche and Claire Denis have been giving Q&A's at Lincoln Center and IFC. I missed them but I'm certain Lincoln Center will eventually upload them on YouTube or elsewhere. From my experience, Binoche is usually great, talking about the process in great detail (she's possibly the most edifying guest I've encountered at any Q&A) and doing it with great charm, so definitely go if you get a chance.

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371229
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Re: Criterion on Social Media

#2 Post by 371229 » Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:32 pm

senseabove wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:18 pm
I know this Denis visit is likely for Let the Sunshine In special features..[/url]
God, let's hope not. I think it is one of her worst films. I saw it at a Film Festival and everyone around me hated it too.

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senseabove
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Re: Criterion on Social Media

#3 Post by senseabove » Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:32 pm

371229 wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:32 pm
senseabove wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:18 pm
I know this Denis visit is likely for Let the Sunshine In special features..[/url]
God, let's hope not. I think it is one of her worst films. I saw it at a Film Festival and everyone around me hated it too.
I wasn’t over the moon for it, but it had its moments. It’s with IFC, though, so the big C has first dibs, and I can’t imagine them passing up a Denis film that was pretty well-received by most...

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reaky
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Re: Criterion on Social Media

#4 Post by reaky » Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:01 pm

Let the Sunshine In is to Claire Denis as My Blueberry Nights is to Wong Kar-Wai. It has so little confidence in its final scene (featuring Gerard Depardieu) that it runs the credits over it, like an episode of Veep. I hope the upcoming Robert Pattinson sci-fi sees her back on track.

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swo17
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Re: Criterion on Social Media

#5 Post by swo17 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:07 pm

Running the credits over that scene is the best cinematic decision I've seen in years, you completely missed the point

*Actually, on reflection, the endings of Good Time and Call Me by Your Name were similarly effective--maybe I just have a type

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domino harvey
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Re: Un beau soleil intérieur (Claire Denis, 2017)

#6 Post by domino harvey » Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:30 pm

I haven't seen this movie, but sounds like the late period Hitchcock sudden ending that Chabrol lifted and expanded for his own later films, perhaps most effectively in La Demoiselle d'honneur

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Brian C
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Re: Un beau soleil intérieur (Claire Denis, 2017)

#7 Post by Brian C » Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:39 pm

It’s really not a sudden ending at all, though. It’s more like earlier Gus Van Sant films, where the credits roll over the last shot. Only there’s extensive dialogue.

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domino harvey
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Re: Un beau soleil intérieur (Claire Denis, 2017)

#8 Post by domino harvey » Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:42 pm

That occurs in the Chabrol films too (as in a film probably more people have seen, La Ceremonie), but again, I haven't seen this one to compare

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swo17
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Re: Un beau soleil intérieur (Claire Denis, 2017)

#9 Post by swo17 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:53 pm

I've seen (and love) those Chabrols though I'm not recalling specifically how their final scenes function within the greater narrative. Here it's a playful callback to the various component parts of the film you've just watched, and it ties a neat little bow on everything.

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david hare
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Re: Un beau soleil intérieur (Claire Denis, 2017)

#10 Post by david hare » Fri Aug 10, 2018 5:30 pm


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Michael Kerpan
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Re: Un beau soleil intérieur (Claire Denis, 2017)

#11 Post by Michael Kerpan » Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:04 pm

Final scene/epilogue of Takahata's Omohide poro poro / Only Yesterday (over which credits run) -- sublime. Not any hint of "lack of confidence" shown by this (at least in Takahata's case).

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whaleallright
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Re: Criterion on Social Media

#12 Post by whaleallright » Sat Aug 18, 2018 1:38 am

swo17 wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:07 pm
Running the credits over that scene is the best cinematic decision I've seen in years, you completely missed the point

*Actually, on reflection, the endings of Good Time and Call Me by Your Name were similarly effective--maybe I just have a type
I think the Denis ending is different, though, and much weirder. The other films have gestures of narrative and formal closure before the credits start rolling. With Good Time, for example, it's basically a return to the location and situation of the film's opening scene. And the dialogue--mostly the repetitive drone of the instructor--doesn't announce itself as something we should be paying close attention to.

By comparison, in Let the Sunshine In, there's little warning that this will be the last scene, and its dialogue is no less voluminous and charged as in any other scene in the film. There's basically a loud, minutes-long clash of two gestures, one telling us the film is over and the other telling us the film is still going.... I found it so strange and disconcerting that I had to laugh. I'm not sure what it adds up to—it's almost too easy to read it as meaning something like "her search for romantic contentment will never be resolved"—but I appreciated it as a genuine mindfuck.

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swo17
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Re: Un beau soleil intérieur (Claire Denis, 2017)

#13 Post by swo17 » Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:19 pm

SpoilerShow
I took the ending to have happened before the rest of the film, with Depardieu serving as a kind of fortune teller suddenly providing a guiding force to what had initially seemed like Binoche's aimless romantic wanderings throughout the film. I think having the actors' names start to appear on the screen as they're being "introduced" through the dialogue works as a punchline to the joke.

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