A beautiful woman tells us in the dark:Your worst enemies, are hiding inside. In the shadow, in your heart.
A drug-dog searches a faded purple van.
A husband readies his babies for sleep after a bath, before seducing his wife.
Men hurry through a night forest in identical outfits carrying black bags.
So begins Claire Denis’ tour de force, The Intruder .
It has been called nothing short of ‘poetic’, ‘intuitive’, ‘elliptical’, ‘mysterious’, ‘enthralling’, & oftentimes ‘impenetrable’. I’d love to try & penetrate it by discussing herein what it means, what its motives are, & who the characters represent.
L’intrus was the first Denis’ film I ever saw. Completely by accident, I had recently seen Betty Blue &, quite stricken with Beatrice Dalle I searched my local library for films of hers. The only other they had, was L’intrus.
I sat down not knowing what I was in for, & hardly moved for the next hundred minutes, except to widen my eyes & let out little exhales of awe. I knew midway through I had found something altogether new. My understanding of cinema was challenged. After investigating M. Denis’ oeuvre, I realize Beau Travail may well be her masterpiece, but for me, if only because it was my first bask in her world, The Intruder will always be closest to my heart.
Reverse Shot: Essay on L’Intrus
Senses of Cinema: Interview with Claire Denis
This I’m going to have to see. And, hey—it’s a Netflix instant Watch! I’ll be back with my thoughts when I’ve seen it.
Thanks for the review NEH. I have to admit, I saw The Intruder, but was left a little confused, which I guess was why it didn’t stay with me as much as some of her other films I’ve seen. I think it warrants a second viewing though, as I probably missed many things. :(
Perhaps religious imagery, Louis as God of sort? His wound is cross shaped…
But I agree with the rest of you…rarely have I felt that I so profoundly didn’t understand something. But for me this is much of the power of the film, something I will rewatch many times!