There is wonderful meaning to be found in the films of Claire Denis. They are stories simply told by an extremely observant director, who doesn’t lecture or moralize. It is all beautifully done and with a delicacy that marks her films indelibly. She lends, rather than thrusts, her directorial voice to them, and allows her actors room to dream and by so doing allows her audiences complete freedom as well. She nudges and implies with great subtlety.
It is hard for a Tindersticks fan like me to imagine music by the band without the plaintive lyrics and haunting voice of Stuart Staples, but in films by Clair Denis, that is mostly what the original compositions by the band are. In the films as well, there is usually very little dialogue and the original music which Tindersticks has composed, allows the audience to put their own words to the films and to say what the actors, the director and Tindersticks mastefully leave unsaid.
For the fist six and a half minutes of 35 Rhums (35 Shots Of Rum) there is no dialogue only the melancholy of piano, oboe and the sound of a train running on tracks as we are introduced to the characters in the film. It really is about as good as a collaboration between the visual and aural mediums can be. It is artistic craftsmanship of an exceptional degree; full of warmth, sad smiles and ultimately wisdom.
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