Claire Denis to receive L.A. Film Critics’ Career Achievement Award

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Claire Denis [Courtesy]

The Los Angeles Film Critics Association has chosen writer-director Claire Denis as the recipient of its Career Achievement Award.

The critics organization will honor the French filmmaker Jan. 14 at its first in-person awards event in three years. The L.A. Film Critics Association also will recognize 2022’s top achievements in filmmaking as decided by the membership at the ceremony.

“We are thrilled to be honoring Claire Denis, one of the best living film auteurs and a master at depicting the identity crises faced by both the colonizer and the colonized,” said Claudia Puig, president of the L.A. Film Critics Association.

“A distinctive sociopolitical point of view and anti-patriarchal sensibility infuse her work, which is deeply evocative — often tender and intimate but never sentimental — and always uncompromising.”

Over the five decades since she began her career working with directors like Jacques Rivette, Costa-Gavras and Wim Wenders, Denis has been among the world ’s most audacious and adventurous filmmakers. Starting with her 1988 debut, “Chocolat,” and continuing with films like “Beau Travail” (1999) and “White Material” (2009), she has been an especially fearless chronicler of life in colonial and post-colonial Africa.

Her mastery of the art form – exemplified by boldly elliptical storytelling and sensual, tactile imagery – knows no geographical or thematic boundaries, whether she ’s crossing metaphysical borders in “The Intruder” (2004) or putting a contemporary French twist on an Ozu classic in “35 Shots of Rum” (2008).

Denis has made features that could be classified loosely as horror (“Trouble Every Day,” 2001), film noir (“Bastards,” 2013), romantic comedy (“Let the Sunshine In,” 2017) and science fiction (“High Life,” 2018).

In 2022, she won the Berlin International Film Festival’s directing prize for “Both Sides of the Blade” as well as the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival for “Stars at Noon.”

Her many international festival prizes also include the Golden Leopard at the Locarno International Film Festival for her drama “Nénette and Boni” (1996).


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