WEEK IN WOMEN: Claire Denis’ HIGH LIFE Acquired by A24 – Brandy McDonnell reports

French filmmaker Claire Denis’ long-awaited English-language debut “High Life” is coming to theaters. A24 has acquired North American distribution rights to the Beau Travail helmer’s new sci-fi drama, which recently made its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival. The distribution deal is reportedly in the low seven figures.

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NYFF 2022’s Unfamiliar Faces: Where are they now? – Margaret Barton-Fumo reports

A lot of big titles screened at the NYFF this year, many of which were directed by esteemed women filmmakers, including festival darlings Claire Denis, Kelly Reichardt and Joanna Hogg. Also of note were new films by Sarah Polley and Maria Schneider. Several women directors snuck in under the radar with films that largely challenged the status quo. Most of them were first-time directors or unfamiliar faces, infusing fresh blood into a somewhat tired festival circuit. We should be on the lookout for such women who enrich our filmgoing experience, introducing us to new methods of filmmaking. But where do these films go after the festival screening? The answer is not always clear-cut.

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BOTH SIDES OF THE BLADE – Review by Leslie Combemale

Spending time with an old and not entirely extinguished flame when in a supposedly happy relationship is always a bad idea. It will be an ill-advised test of willpower at best, and at worst the height of hubris. That’s what happens in director Claire Denis’s romantic drama Both Sides of the Blade, which Denis wrote with co-screenwriter Christine Angot, based on Angot’s 2018 novel Un Tournant de Vie (A Turning Point of Life). They’ve created a visceral, intense slow burn about a destructive love triangle that spirals out of control with the help of stars Juliette Binoche, Vincent Lindon, and Grégoire Colin. Denis won the Silver Bear for Best Director at the 72nd Berlin International Film Festival for her work on the film.

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BEAU TRAVAIL – Review by Diane Carson

Inspired by Herman Melville’s Billy Budd, Sailor, French director Claire Denis’ Beau travai moves that apocryphal story from the vastness of the ocean to the desolate expanse of the desert bordering the Red Sea. Set in the East African country Djibouti at a French Foreign Legion outpost, Chief Master Sergeant Galoup narrates in flashback from Marseilles his self-destructive obsession with Gilles Sentain.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: BBC Survey Shows Women Are Left Out of Cinema History — Brandy McDonnell reports

According to the BBC, 209 critics sent in their 10 greatest foreign-language films for the poll. Of these respondents, 94 were women – that’s 45 percent – yet there are only four female directors with titles in the top 100: Chantal Akerman (Jeanne Dielman, 23 Commerce Quay, 1080 Brussels), Claire Denis (“Beau Travail), Agnès Varda (Cleo from 5 to 7), and Katia Lund (co-director of City of God).

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TIFF18 Review: High Life – Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

With all the spectacular SFX majesty that has dominated the representation of space across the science fiction genre, that Claire Denis’s High Life begins less fascinated with its cosmic surroundings than the ‘spectacle’ of a single working dad sets the tone in many ways for her first English-language feature.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK April 27, 2018: LET THE SUNSHINE IN

motw logo 1-35Claire Denis’ romantic dramedy Let the Sunshine In stars Juliette Binoche as Isabelle, a smart, sophisticated Parisian artist and divorcee who’s only missing one thing in her life: true love. She meets plenty of men who want to sleep with her, but there’s something off about all of them; some are married, some are too full of themselves to be able to properly nurture a partner, some are exes who should clearly stay that way.

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Opening October 10 – 16, 2022 – Margaret Barton-Fumo reports

The Alliance of Women Film Journalists highlights movies made by and about women. With a vigilant eye toward current releases, we maintain an interactive record of films that are pertinent to our interests. Be they female-made or female-centric productions, they are films that represent a wide range of women’s stories and present complex female characters. As such, they are movies that will most likely be reviewed on AWFJ.org and will qualify for consideration for our annual EDA Awards, celebrating exceptional women working in film behind and in front of the camera.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Juliette Binoche honored at Spain’s San Sebastian Film Fest – Brandy McDonnell reports

The San Sebastian International Film Festival will honor French movie star Juliette Binoche with one of its Donostia Awards, the Spanish fest’s career achievement prize. She will receive the award in recognition of her extensive career, “which has seen her play almost 75 characters, from power-wielding heroines to fragile beings, with historical figures, drama roles and comedy parts along the way.”

Plus, the poster for the 70th San Sebastian Film Festival features a portrait of Binoche taken by French photographer Brigitte Lacombe.

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