Emory to host free appearances, screenings by French filmmaker Claire Denis

Prominent French filmmaker Claire Denis, called “a director with the heart of an explorer” by The New York Times when New York’s IFC Center hosted a retrospective of her work in 2010, will make two public appearances at Emory University on Nov. 14 and 15.

In preparation for her visit, Emory is presenting screenings of four of her most highly regarded films, Nov. 2-12.

On Nov. 14, Denis will introduce a screening of her latest feature, “White Material” (2009). On Nov. 15, she will give a public talk as part of Emory’s ongoing Creativity Conversation series.

All of the events, presented under the title “Claire Denis: Uncharted Territories,” are free.

The first film to be shown will be Denis’ debut, 1988’s “Chocolat,” following the return of a young woman named France to her childhood home in colonial Cameroon. She recalls an idyllic existence that changed forever after a plane crashed nearby, forcing those stranded to stay with the family and amplifying tension (both racial and of a marital fidelity nature) in the household.

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With its consideration of life on different sides of societal boundaries, “Chocolat” and many of the films that have followed have been informed by Denis’ experiences of displacement during her childhood in West Africa as daughter of a French colonial administrator, and then her emigration to France as a teen.

The first four screenings, shown in 35 mm except where noted, are at 7:30 p.m. in White Hall, Room 205, 301 Dowman Drive, Atlanta:

  • Nov. 2: “Chocolat” (1988)
  • Nov. 5: “I Can’t Sleep” (1994) (presented on DVD)
  • Nov. 9: “Beau Travail” (1999)
  • Nov. 12: “35 Shots of Rum” (2008)

The presentations featuring the filmmaker will be in White Hall, Room 208:

  • Nov. 14: Denis introduces “White Material” at 7:30 p.m.
  • Nov. 15: Creativity Conversation talk at 6 p.m.

Directions and parking information at www.french.emory.edu/news.

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