One of the most visionary filmmakers in contemporary cinema, Claire Denis (Beau travail, Trouble Every Day, White Material) returns with this dazzling, labyrinthine story of sex, murder, and revenge.

Masters

Bastards

Claire Denis

Claire Denis' films live in the ambiguous intersections of misunderstood intentions and actions. Elision, the elliptical, the half-comprehended motivation, the incomplete gesture — these are the elements from which she spins her mesmerizing portraits of people and situations. For more than two decades, she has continued to shape the world, and the images she captures there, to her distinctive and singular vision of cinema.

Les Salauds is full of striking imagery, right from its first shots of a young woman walking, naked, through the dim streets of Paris. The "why" is immediately invoked, and it is not long before we are locked in a labyrinthine plot of family and business, betrayal and vengeance. The head of a family business is dead, and evidence suggests that a malevolent tycoon is responsible. Into this fractured world comes the dead man's brother-in-law, who quits his job as a sailor on an oil tanker so he can get to the bottom of what has transpired. Marco would rather not get involved — he'd prefer to remain apart from everything — but despite his vacillating, he finds himself slowly dragged in, deeper and deeper. He also carries his own secret into the story.

Denis is a master of working amidst narrative uncertainties that mirror the confusions and hesitancies of her cast of characters. The canvas of Les Salauds is dark and troubling; unsavoury sexual desires mingle with stories of drugs, abuse, and mutilation. This is a revenge story with many twists and turns. Ably supported by Agnès Godard's evocative camerawork and the eerie music of Stuart A. Staples and Tindersticks, Denis turns Les Salauds into a dazzling puzzle of a film.

PIERS HANDLING

Screenings

Thu Sep 05

Scotiabank 4

Industry
3:45pm
Tue Sep 10

TIFF Bell Lightbox 2

Regular
9:00pm
Wed Sep 11

Jackman Hall

Regular
3:30pm