In her quest for romantic connection, the protagonist of Claire Denis’s searching, slyly funny Let the Sunshine In—Parisian painter Isabelle (Juliette Binoche)—finds herself falling in with a series of hopelessly self-involved men: an oleaginous (and married) banker, an elegant (but mostly unavailable) gallerist, and a smooth-talking (and shamelessly manipulative) psychic, to name just a few of them. As she explains in the video above, taken from a supplement on our brand-new release of the film, Denis wanted to ensure she got to the core of each man’s individual foibles, and here casting became essential. For these supporting roles, the director chose performers with whom she was already well acquainted—and who she knew wouldn’t be shy about appearing foolish. Denis’s producer wanted Gérard Depardieu to play the banker, but she demurred, instead casting the younger, more reactive Xavier Beauvois, a friend and fellow writer-director, in the part, and letting Depardieu command the film’s clever closing scene as the seductive seer. Stay tuned to the end of the clip to hear why Denis chose longtime collaborator Alex Descas to personify Isabelle’s aloof art-world pseudo-suitor.
Digging Through Movie History at Chaplin’s Studios
Film scholar Craig Barron gives us a tour of the studios on whose back lot Charlie Chaplin built the set for his final film of the silent era, The Circus.
Career Women in the Land of Lubitsch
Critics Molly Haskell and Farran Smith Nehme talk about the highly idiosyncratic heroines who populate Ernst Lubitsch’s comedies, including the protagonist of his final film, Cluny Brown.
Ritwik Ghatak’s Pursuit of Truth Beyond Realism
Acclaimed Indian filmmakers Saeed Akhtar Mirza and Kumar Shahani discuss how the Bengali master mixed expressionism and naturalism in his devastating domestic tragedy The Cloud-Capped Star.