Harvard’s Film Study Center recently announced a new award: the Robert Gardner Fellowship, named in honor of the FSC’s founder. The 2013-14 Gardner Fellows are Claire Denis and Spanish filmmaker Eloy Enciso Cachafeiro.
Friday April 18 at 7pm
Directed by Claire Denis. With Vincent Lindon, Chiara Mastroianni, Julie Bataille
France 2012, 35mm, color, 100 min. French with English subtitles
Claire Denis' latest work is among her darkest, angriest and tautest to date, a disquieting film noir partially inspired by William Faulkner and the malevolent figure of Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Pitched in shades of darkest night painted by master cinematographer Agnes Godard, Bastards transforms Paris into a rain-slicked, stygian shadow world whose unsettling mysteries are laconically revealed with masterful restraint, only gradually revealing its harrowing fable of incestuous sexual abuse, with power as the most pathological, vicious form of aphrodisiac. Called to land by the mysterious suicide of his brother-in-law and the savage sexual assault of his young niece, Denis regular Vincent Lindon returns as a taciturn sea captain whose silent distance from the crimes so close to his heart give the film a haunting and deeply compelling opacity, a depth of mystery and loneliness almost unmatched in Denis' cinema. — Haden Guest