23rd ATHENS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

AIFF.GR
  • Tribute: Claire Denis - The Geography of Desire

    In one of the most beautiful scenes in Claire Denis’ debut, “Chocolate” (1988), a young girl looks at the skyline above the African land and wonders where it ends. “What you see does not exist. The closer you get, the further it goes”, her father explains to her. Almost thirty years later, in Denis’ brand new film “Let the Sunshine In”, Juliette Binoche seeks love and romantic utopia in Paris streets, cafes, apartments/ arrondissements *. The years that passed between these two images, Denis has fueled her faithful fans with some of the most unforgettable scenes in the history of cinema: the desperate figure of lovesick Deni Lavant in a lonely, jerky dance in the ending scene of “Beau Travail”, Isabelle Huppert in “White Material” fighting for her life and the lives of her people in a remote part of Africa during civil unrest, Valerie Lemercier in “Friday Night” meeting a stranger during a traffic jam and getting carried away with him to unexplored nightly paths and a hungry for flesh and blood Beatrice Dalle, alluring with her charms unsuspecting males in order to devour them in “Trouble Every Day”. The Greek audience will have the chance to enjoy on the big screen all of these images gathered together for the first time and to become acquainted with the great director’s exquisite work in its completeness; a feverish and impulsive work which shows new exciting cinematic paths.

    Loukas Katsikas

    Filmography (Selected)
    2017 Un Beau Soleil Interieur
    2013 Bastards
    2009 White Material
    2008 35 Rhums
    2004 L’ Intrus
    2003 Vendredi soir
    2001 Trouble Every Day
    1999 Beau Travail
    1996 Nenette et Boni
    1994 J’ pas sommeil
    1990 S’ en Fout la Mort
    1988 Chocolat

  • 35 Shots of Rum / 35 Rhums

    A widowed father still pining after an old flame, his young daughter and the boy upstairs who struggles to express his feelings towards her. In what is her sweetest film and one that was hailed by foreign critics as one of her best, Denis touches upon matters such as family, time, days and nights in big cities and the comfort that people afford each other in difficult times. A simple yet disarming film.

  • Bastards / Les Salauds

    The captain of an oil tanker must hastily return to shore for grievous personal reasons which result in him having to face a corrupt Parisian family. Denis sets Vincent Lindon and Chiara Mastroianni in orbit around two of her trademark subjects: the concession that the world is a savage place and the impact of blood ties on people' s lives.

  • Good Work / Beau Travail

    The taciturn mannered staff Sargent Galoup is in charge of a quiet unit of the French Foreign Legion in Djibouti. The arrival of Sentain , a handsome soldier, is greatly disconcerting to him and wrecks his internal balance as well as his outwardly behaviour. In this masterpiece, Denis captures the beat of human drama and time in highly adverse situations. Denis Lavant is outstanding in the role of the love-stricken staff Sargent.

  • Chocolate / Chocolat

    A woman of French origin contemplates her childhood days at a colonial outpost in Cameroon and her status as a silent witness to racial issues and repressed sexuality. From her very first film, it is evident that Claire Denis possesses all the makings of a masterful filmmaker, vigilantly employing all her senses during filming which resulted in a much deserved nomination for the Palme d' Or award at the Cannes Film Festival.

  • Friday Night / Vendredi Soir

    During a Parisian traffic jam, a woman meets a stranger and they share a night of passion which inevitably comes to an end at the light of dawn. A night-time romance of the metropolis full of mysteries and anticipation, this film becomes a seductive illustration of an erotic fantasy where reality and dreams come together tenderly.

  • I Can’t Sleep / J’ pas sommeil

    Against the backdrop of a horror-stricken Paris resulting from a series of elderly women being murdered, two different stories unravel in the same multiracial neighbourhoods: a beautiful young Lithuanian woman arrives in the city on the deceitful promise of an acting career while a family of immigrants arrive from the Caribbean as their family ties fall apart. Based on a real incident which shocked French society in the 80s, Denis uses the pretext of its mystery to explore the seduction and dangerous twists of the contemporary western world, hardships which can befall on people of all origins and languages. One of the sharpest sociopolitical films of the 90s.

  • Let the Sunshine In / Un Beau Soleil Interieur

    A divorced woman is searching for love in a Paris that appears to have lost all signs of romance. What are the odds of her finding what she is looking for in any of the following candidates: a cynical banker, a charming actor, her ex husband and a one-night stand? Spirited and humorous, Denis' most fun-loving film offers up one of Juliette Binoche's best performances as well as featuring Gérard Depardieu and Valeria Bruni Tedeschi in surprise roles . The film won the Director's Fortnight award at the recent Cannes Film Festival. Actress Sandrine Dumas in attendance

  • Nenette and Boni / Nenette et Boni

    Fifteen year old Nenette runs away from home when she is confronted with her own unwanted pregnancy and seeks refuge at her estranged brother's house. Denis portrays the details of their dysfunctional relationship accompanied by, what is now considered the Tindertsicks' most popular soundtrack, a Truffaut-like spontaneity and the novel quality indicative of the Nouvelle Vague movement. The film received the Golden Leopard and three acting awards at the Locarno International Film Festival.

  • No Fear, No Die / S’ en Fout la Mort

    Through the story of two immigrants, who arrange cockfights in the basement of a restaurant, Claire Denis offers up a postmodern noir which is set in the underworld of a multicultural Marseilles. The violent sight of the fights intensifies the claustrophobic atmosphere resulting from an almost aggressive realism while the physical performances of Descas and De Bankolé impart an exotic eroticism on the film, all the while the French filmmaker continues to investigate the social conflicts resulting from the end of colonialism.

  • The Intruder / L’ Intrus

    Feeling that the end is near an elderly man receives the heart of a young donor while at the same time trying to reconcile with his dark past. Characterised by its elliptical narrative style, evident more here than in any of her other films, and yet very dream-like, Denis invites the viewer to reassess the way he views cinema through an adventurous and deeply existential journey of life and death, from France to Korea and then to Tahiti.

  • Trouble Every Day

    Denis' most edgy film, combines sex with vampirism and sexual attraction with the most primal instincts. The film, which caused a mini scandal at the Cannes Film Festival, gave Tindersticks the opportunity to create one of the best opening songs in the history of cinema and offers moments of genuine terror for those who can stomach them.

  • White Material

    In an unspecified part of Africa plagued by civil unrest, a proud European woman attempts to protect her house and land defying the fast-approaching frontline of a bloody conflict. The film boasts the ever-impressive Isabelle Huppert in the starring role while Claire Denis' direction is riveting in this film which the New York Times recently included in a list of best films of the 21st century.