Claire Denis

Beau travail

Beau travail

With her ravishingly sensual take on Herman Melville’s Billy Budd, Sailor, Claire Denis firmly established herself as one of the great visual tone poets of our time. Amid the azure waters and sunbaked desert landscapes of Djibouti, a French Foreign Legion sergeant (Denis Lavant) sows the seeds of his own ruin as his obsession with a striking young recruit (Grégoire Colin) plays out to the thunderous, operatic strains of Benjamin Britten. Denis and cinematographer Agnès Godard fold military and masculine codes of honor, colonialism’s legacy, destructive jealousy, and repressed desire into shimmering, hypnotic images that ultimately explode in one of the most startling and unforgettable endings in all of modern cinema.

Film Info

  • Claire Denis
  • France
  • 1999
  • 93 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.66:1
  • French
  • Spine #1042

Director-Approved Special Edition Features

  • New 4K digital restoration, supervised by director of photography Agnès Godard and approved by director Claire Denis, with uncompressed stereo soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New conversation between Denis and filmmaker Barry Jenkins
  • New selected-scene commentary with Godard
  • New interviews with actors Denis Lavant and Grégoire Colin
  • New video essay by film scholar Judith Mayne
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Girish Shambu

New cover by Michael Boland

Purchase Options

Released Sep 15, 2020

Special Features

  • New 4K digital restoration, supervised by director of photography Agnès Godard and approved by director Claire Denis, with uncompressed stereo soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New conversation between Denis and filmmaker Barry Jenkins
  • New selected-scene commentary with Godard
  • New interviews with actors Denis Lavant and Grégoire Colin
  • New video essay by film scholar Judith Mayne
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Girish Shambu

New cover by Michael Boland

Beau travail
Cast
Denis Lavant
Galoup
Michel Subor
Commandant Bruno Forestier
Grégoire Colin
Gilles Sentain
Richard Courcet
Legionnaire
Nicolas Duvauchelle
Legionnaire
Marta Tafesse
Rahel
Credits
Director
Claire Denis
Produced by
Jérôme Minet
Produced by
Patrick Grandperret
Screenplay by
Jean-Pol Fargeau
Screenplay by
Claire Denis
Adapted from “Billy Budd, Sailor,” by
Herman Melville
Cinematography by
Agnès Godard
Film editing by
Nelly Quettier
Choreography by
Bernardo Montet
Sound recording by
Jean-Paul Mugel
Sound recording by
Dominique Gaborieau
Sound editing by
Christophe Winding
Original music by
Eran Tzur
Set design by
Arnaud de Moleron
Costumes by
Judy Shrewsbury

From The Current

Beau travail: A Cinema of Sensation
Beau travail: A Cinema of Sensation

Grafted together from a wide array of sources, Claire Denis’s most acclaimed film combines cerebral rigor, sensorial intensity, and a powerful meditation on masculinity and foreignness.

By Girish Shambu