I aspire to make works of a similar fusion of post-modern dance and narrative filmmaking. This is an aching tale of non-belonging told solely through movement. Never have I seen a film that is more a testament to the performative nature of masculinity. -- An especially enlightening review: http://www.bfi.org.uk/news-opinion/sight-sound-magazine/features/greatest-films-all-time/blood-sand-beau-travail
re-watched tonight, four years later. Words do not touch this film. In other words, there is nothing to say. Just breathe, experience. Hands down one of the best cinematic experiences ever. Maybe this sounds lazy, but this is one of the few times I've walked away from a film and there was simply no need to speak or describe. I am a ripe sponge, I am basking in a super juicy pleasure dome.
Event-wary but all the same an extreme sensory overload, this film doesn't really need a story. The domesticity of military life is not something you usually see, nor do you see a film so originally communicating routine. Monotonous it isn't. nor does it default to paranoid information flows. I'd say BT is one of the only films about Male Hysteria, a topic Melville and Denis have mastered. Rewatched b/c Moonlight.
This is a physical manifestation of the homo-erotic tension that exists within male culture, especially concentrated and isolated groups of men such as the legion of soldiers featured in Beau Travail. Visually, it is a gorgeous study of the soldier's body, his daily routines and his strenuous exercises, his achievements and his punishments, which Claire Denis seamlessly inter-weaves with studious shots of the...↓