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Nénette and Boni / 35 Shots of Rum

A girl smoking.
August 6, 2022 - 7:30 pm

Nénette and Boni

Nénette et Boni, France, 1996

“Grégoire Colin and Alice Houri play brother and sister, products of a broken home. Colin plays 19-year-old Boni, a sex-starved pizza worker whose estranged 15-year-old sister Nenette is trapped in a boarding school and seven months pregnant with a child she doesn’t want. When Nenette finally winds up on her brother’s doorstep, the two warily embark on an unsentimental journey of the spirit that leads them to an unexpected conclusion.”—Beverly Berning, SFFILM Festival

“For Nénette et Boni, we (Godard and Denis) knew that we wanted the opposite of the film I did before (I Can’t Sleep, 1994). We wanted to work with long lenses and do mostly close ups, to be extremely close. When I decide [on a style of shooting] with Agnès, I try never to change it even though sometimes it's difficult to stick with your principle while shooting. I know that the only reasonable thing is to stick to it, because the principle came at the moment that I was most creative–when I was writing and dreaming about the film. It's too easy to abandon the principle purely because of a difficulty. But, on the other hand, Agnès and I are always aware that we have to be very open to the choreography of the bodies and give a lot of freedom to the actors. I always tell the actors what the principle is of a scene, but inside that principle they are free.”—Claire Denis, Filmmaker magazine interview with Ira Sachs, 1997

35mm, color, in French, Vietnamese and English with English subtitles, 103 min. Director: Claire Denis. Screenwriters: Claire Denis, Jean-Pol Fargeau. Cinematographer: Agnès Godard. Editor: Yann Dedet. With: Grégoire Colin, Alice Houri, Jacques Nolot, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Vincent Gallo. Print courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive.

35 Shots of Rum

35 rhums, France/Germany, 2008

“Widely hailed as one of the best films of 2009, Claire Denis' sublime 35 Shots of Rum is the moving story of a father and daughter whose close-knit, tender relationship is disrupted by a handsome young suitor. Sumptuously filmed and featuring an evocative score by Tindersticks, 35 Shots of Rum casts a lovely spell unlike any other movie.”—Cinema Guild

"Claire always chooses actors that are beautiful. This beauty is already part of the sexual [dynamic]. Then, in almost all her films there's a dance sequence. I like to dance myself, that's for sure. I like to shoot dance sequences because it's done handheld. It's like you are dancing, also. That means there is also music when we shoot, so this is just fantastic because you forget everything, the weight of the camera, technical difficulties and everything."—Agnès Godard, KQED interview with Michael Fox, 2013

“In terms of the comparison with dance, there’s also the fact that over-the-shoulder camerawork requires you to be in rhythm with the actors, which is like dancing with a partner. And what was infinitely pleasurable and truly liberating for me was learning to find the rhythm of my gaze within the actors’ rhythm.”—Agnès Godard, Film Comment interview with Yonca Talu, 2018

35mm, color, in French and German with English subtitles, 100 min. Director: Claire Denis. Screenwriters: Claire Denis, Jean-Pol Fargeau. Cinematographer: Agnès Godard. Editor: Guy Lecorne. With: Alex Descas, Mati Diop, Nicole Dogué, Grégoire Colin. Print courtesy of Cinema Guild.