Asked to contribute to the French TV mini-series Tous les garçons et les filles de leur âge (All the Boys and Girls in Their Time)—which assigned ten European directors the task of creating films about their adolescence, stipulating only that each include a party scene filled with the music of their era—Denis responded with this elegant and affectionate miniature.
Set in the late 60s, on the perimeters of an American army base somewhere outside Paris, it finds 15-year-old Martine (Alice Houri) struggling to come of age, having just learned that her best friend, Marlene, has recently lost her virginity—a distinction that threatens the two girls’ relationship. As Marlene attempts to ‘catch up’ over the course of one long and confusing night, Denis delivers an uncondescending and utterly convincing depiction of teenage longing, rendering her heroine’s misadventures with compassion and genuine insight.
She puts us in immediate and seemingly intimate contact with every character on the screen. Claire Denis has become one of the great directors of our time."— Amy Taubin –MIFF
A provocative director whose films offer richly textured, contemplative examinations of cross-cultural tensions and alienation, Claire Denis is one of French cinema’s most distinctive and humanistic storytellers. A prolific filmmaker who is more concerned with the drive of her characters rather than the plot that weaves them together, she has been dubbed by one critic as one of the only current French directors who “has been able to reconcile the lyricism of French cinema with the impulse to capture the often harsh face of contemporary France.”
Born in Paris on April 21, 1948, Denis, the daughter of a civil servant, was raised in a series of African countries until she was 14, when her family returned to France. She learned about filmmaking as an assistant to a number of notable directors, including Wim Wenders (Wings of Desire), Jim Jarmusch (Down by Law), and Costa-Gavras (Hanna K.). She made her directorial and screenwriting debut in 1988 with Chocolat, a lush exploration… read more