Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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Overrated? Hard to follow at times. Not particularity well acted or edited. Overindulgent.
Ce film n'est pas du bon travail.
You can throw Claire Denis into the same bucket as directors like Terrence Malick, Hong Sang-soo, Hirokazu Koreeda and many others, they all use a reflective and quiet tone to drive their narratives that ultimately feel like fragments of the events. But I don't want to lump her in with those because this is also so completely its own and truly a masterwork in portraying the limits of the human body and soul in these circumstances and makes films like "Full Metal Jacket" look surfaced (which it's not). I'm ashamed to say I've only seen 2 of Claire's films, this and "White Material," and need to go through everything she's done because I know the single viewing I had of this film will stick with me for a long, long time.
Fun fact! Greta Gerwig claims this film to be the reason she wanted to be a director! Thank God she saw it!
If you enjoy homoerotic movies, this film is for you. If you don't, yet might be a fan of "2001: A Space Odyssey" but always thought agitated French Legionnaires with shovels would work better than agitated chimps with bones, than this film will definitely intrigue you. The location shots are stunning. The tanned, half-naked or naked men swimming & showering & digging ditches and then, wait for it, showering again or swimming or stretching in the dirt gets a bit repetitive. But heck, its an "artistic" French movie. What to expect? I enjoyed the spastic dancing at the end - for me, it explained a lot. There is a reason why American movies are watched the World over and some French films are viewed only in cramped art cinemas - - usually with poor ventilation or the scent of musty carpet. This is that film. Best to have a beer or two before watching.
Denis is a very provocative filmmaker. She is fearless in going for what she wants to convey; pushing the barrier to the point of making viewers feel uncomfortable, shocked, enticed, aroused in quite possibly an unsettling way. But she is always at the core of her work expressing the subtleties and extremes of what it is to be human.
In this film we have Galoup (the excellent Denis Lavant), an officer in the French Foreign Legion whose commitment to the extremely disciplined order and strictures of his position has made of him such a tightly rigid, regimented man that this repression has left him joyless and seemingly unable to peel off this mental armor. With the arrival of the young charismatic Sentain, Galoup finds himself obsessed and frustrated to the point of losing grip of his self-control and perspective as a mature man dedicated to being a quality military figure and role model of sorts.
Claire Denis shows us the slow degradation of a man at odds with himself as he has known. His actions to dismiss Sentain or show him in a bad light due largely to jealousy (but maybe more) and resentment ultimately work to break him down to pettiness and betrayal. The director does all this with as little dialogue as possible, letting the visual power of the human face and body language express so much. And the landscape of Djibouti, along with the beauty and wonder of its people, add even more cinematic color and presence to this remarkable film. It becomes much more than it initially seemed it would be for me. Finally, what are we to make of the 'free' man Galoup in that wholly unexpected final scene? 4 stars
Claire Denis definitely succeeds on a technical level - and everyone pretty much already knows this by now - but much like her other features, Beau Travail is no exception to the lack of soul and emptiness of her films.
Arty, speculative and pretentious.
Better than the other Denis film I've seen (L'Intrus) but I'm still mystified as to why she gets so much critical praise. Yes she knows how to create compelling images, but there's an almost complete absence of drama in her work. Apart from the last 20 minutes this was essentially like watching a very arty documentary about the Foreign Legion.
I'd have more fun watching grass grow than this piece of shit
Beau Travail is a story so artistic and poetic that it's easy to overlook that it's about the calamitous effects of jealousy, of spitefulness so passionate that it destroys lives.
An aesthetically pleasing film,yet I have to admit(though it does not pay me any justice) that I had not the patience to experience it whole without getting tired.All this movie is about are the beautiful and creative and pleasing camera shots.Little to no dialogue but everything was so choreographed that it all made sense.This is a movie to please the eye,but as fas as a storyline and a plot goes,it's nothing special and new.It is all in the emotions and in the shots that makes the movie and sets the feelings.That's creativity I agree.But honestly the little to no action and the little to no dialogue were a big minus,giving you the feeling that the movie is too long to make it to the end.One think is evident though:this movie is pure art!