THEATER 1 Tue, Jul 9 8:15 PM
THEATER 1 Fri, Jul 19 8:00 PM
Film Info
Release Year:2000
Production Country:France
Original Language:French
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Claire Denis
Cast:Denis Lavant
Michel Subor
Grégoire Colin
Richard Courcet
Nicolas Duvauchelle


In BEAU TRAVAIL, a loose adaptation of Herman Melville's 1888 novella Billy Budd set in the Horn of Africa’s Djibouti, French Foreign Legion sergeant Galoup (Denis Lavant) reflects on his tenure in the elite corp of soldiers and his dangerous obsession with Légionnaire Gilles Sentain. We present Claire Denis’ masterful exploration of masculinity and power at the Film Center a lot (and oh boy, does it look good on our big screen), and while we love every second of the sand-covered, sunbaked stunner, it is the final rapturous minutes that live in our heads rent free. Alone in a mirrored dance club, as Corona’s electropop song “The Rhythm of the Night” plays, Galoup—between casual puffs of his cigarette—bursts into movement; spinning, jumping, and lunging in a dance that seems to answer to, and perhaps rebel against, the tense, repressed desire of the film. Though the dance is spontaneous and jerky, Lavant (who trained as a pantomime and with the circus) is in complete control, giving Galoup a release and reprieve from his guilt and shame. Is Galoup dead? Is he celebrating? Is he mourning? Denis lets us decide for ourselves with this startling, energizing ending.