Courtisane festival, notes on cinema, 23nd edition, 27 - 31 March 2024
Encouraged by the challenge of her producer to write a film off the cuff, Claire Denis and co-scenarist Jean-Pol Fargeau invented a dark revenge drama in the spirit of Akira Kurasawa's The Bad Sleep Well (released in France as Les salauds dorment en paix) and William Faulkner's Sanctuary. The result is an elliptically structured fate tragedy in which a sailor (Vincent Lindon) returns to Paris and ends up in a tangle of twisted family relationships, sexual exploitation and manipulation. “I didn’t feel like I was nearing an abyss. I knew we were on the front line, certainly: death is present from the beginning until the end of the film. For me, there is nothing stronger than thinking about what is forbidden and why it is forbidden. I’m talking about what is morally forbidden. What we call taboo only exists because it is inherent in human nature."