FIVE DENIS ESSENTIALS
(1988) No, not that Chocolat. Ingeniously edited study of a young French woman’s relationship with a Cameroonian native. Breakout performance by Isaach de Bankolé.
(1999) Perhaps her masterpiece, Beau Travail adapts themes from Herman Melville’s Billy Budd to the story of a French Foreign Legion division in Djibouti. Famous wordless sequences.
Trouble Every Day
(2001) Still her most controversial film, this art-horror oddity sends Vincent Gallo and Béatrice Dalle on a carnival of obscure blood-letting. Memorable for a famous Tindersticks score.
35 Shots of Rum
(2008) Loosely structured, brilliantly acted study of an immigrant community in contemporary Paris. Denis admits the influence of Yasujiro Ozu’s Late Spring on the piece.
(2009) Isabelle Huppert plays a French coffee planter who decides to remain in an African country despite the advance of a savage civil war. Proud of its mysteries.