Ninon is a spirited hotel-manager who teaches self-defense classes to her terrified eldery neighbors. Daiga, an aspiring Lithuanian actress newly arrived to Paris, becomes fascinated wtih the life of a mysteriously beautiful drag performer.
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Claire Denis in the nineties: the patron saint of a generation. What is so interesting about her films of this period, especially I Can't Sleep, which remains a favorite (in fact it gets better and better), is that their synopses seem so much like the kind of stuff one is accustomed to reading in festival programs. But her way into and around an experience of the world is peerless and exactly right. She owned us.
as usual i walk away from another denis film feeling totally crushed and hopeless and melancholy in all of the right ways. i feel like it's difficult to talk about what her films to do me because, like most great cinema, they have their own kind of language that i can't translate into words. so gorgeous.
Con esta última entrega de la trilogía, Denis no se va sin dejarnos con un buen numero de escenas de su característico estilo observacional, y es aquí, aparte de su presentación no formulaica, donde radica el interés de la cinta ya que el resultado final, en contraste con sus dos previas cintas, como que no cuaja completamente.
Portrait of individuals isolated from their surroundings, not so much marginalised as alienated. All indifferent to the promise of utopia that a modern city promises. Murder is perhaps the toughest sell of this film, but Denis appropriates a more conventionally tragic tale of murder and destruction and makes it a more ambiguous tale of the numb experiences from the fringes.
Mood, tone; intimacy, transaction. Lives made of little tensions, little rubbings-up against each other. Denis is a master of never overplaying her hand, never resorting to cheap psychologizing or causationality. She's unafraid of unsexy beauty; each frame exudes a cool detachment that's somehow so available to tenderness.
What I find fascinating about this relatively early Denis film is seeing a great director in the making. There's a cinematic formalism that surpasses in later films: each shot seems so carefully planned. There is also a more complex storyline than in later work. These elements are the mark of a director not yet at her peak - but well on her way. The sparseness of dialogue is already there - in all its glory.