Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Beau Travail (1999)

WHO: Denis & Denis. That is, Denis Lavant directed by Claire Denis.

WHAT: I'm getting ready to roll out my annual "I Only Have Two Eyes" survey of the best repertory screenings as picked by Frisco Bay cinephiles. Last time around, one of the most-frequently chosen films was Beau Travail, and no wonder. It's a truly special film, a lyrical adaptation of Herman Melville set amongst French Foreign Legionnaires stationed in East Africa. I cannot recommend seeing this on a big screen highly enough.

WHERE: The Castro Theatre today and Thursday at 5:00 and 9:00 PM.

WHY: While Holy Motors is driving circles around much of the competition in some of the most influential year-end film polls, and its star Denis Lavant is deservedly getting similar attention, it seems a perfect time to revisit one of his best previous roles. Claire Denis has gotten some interesting French press for her upcoming film recently as well. In other words, if you missed Beau Travail's last Frisco Bay cinema-stand (at the PFA) almost two years ago, you really need to go this time, just to be current. And if you caught it in 2011, you probably are dying to see it again anyway, especially on a screen as large as the Castro's.

HOW: On a 35mm double bill with Samsara.

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