Beau travail [1999]

21Feb12 – 8 – Beau travail (Claire Denis: 1999)

BEAU TRAVAIL (1999). Pretentious soft-core gay porn minus the porn. Or is it? Loosely based on Melville’s “Billy Budd” but set with the Foreign Legion in Djibouti, BEAU TRAVAIL is a shimmering haze of memories with only the merest suggestion of plot and motive, which forces the audience to supply the missing elements. Or is it just inept, lazy filmmaking? Superb cinematography by Agnes Godard. Stunning locales, bodies, faces. I can’t decide whether it’s great or terrible. For now I’m going to give it an 8/10. For the choreography. [2/21/12]

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