Claire Denis

Claire Denis
Claire Denis
  • Born: April 21, 1946
  • Nationality: French
  • Profession: Director, Writer, Professor

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A career for me is something like building a bridge. You know, where to put the lifts. You have a plan. I have a blueprint for each film, but not for my life. Life
A father who sees his daughter leave in the arms of another man does not feel the same as a mother. It is heartrending for her, too. But it is not the same.
A film takes a lot of time, and yet not enough to share with the people you're making the movie with, I think. Time
Africa is no more this poor continent. It's on the march.
Because TV is mostly close up, it has to be fast. And because it has to be fast, you don't have time to explain completely, by a sequence shot, what's happening between people. So instead of experiencing what's happening, say, when a couple is dancing, dialogue is used to explain. Time
'Chocolat' was a sort of statement of my own childhood, recognizing I experienced something from the end of the colonial era and the beginning of independence as I was a child that really made me aware of things I never forgot - a sort of childhood that made me different when I was a student in France.
Filmmaking creates a sort of - trust, maybe. It has led me to a group of people I feel good with. We have something in common because of film, when otherwise we might have nothing. Trust
For some reason, I have always been interested in the stories of people who are exiled and who are deprived of rights. My main motive to make a film is to keep the society in mind and the hospitality adhered. Society
Growing up outside your own country makes you feel that you don't belong when you return, so you feel free to make friends with whomever you like.
I always thought of Djibouti as a place where human history hasn't really begun yet - or perhaps it's already over. There's something in the landscape that's stronger than human civilisation. There's no agriculture, for example, and there are live volcanoes. History
I always thought Vincent Lindon had a sexy body, a body you can trust, a solid body you can lean on. Trust
I am always asked, 'You grew up in Africa?' Every time I introduce a film, or I'm interviewed, 'You grew up in Africa?' Time
I am not at all interested in theories about cinema. I am only interested in images and people and sound. I am really a very simple person.
I am the eldest child; it's lonely at the top.
I can be unkind to someone in the street or in the subway - I'm a bad-tempered person - but I'm unable to be unkind to a character. They exist because of me, and I have responsibility for them.
I can't imagine a society with absolutely no solidarity. For me, it's a nightmare. And I don't want to live in a place like that. Society
I didn't foresee my career. Things happen.
I don't know - music in film, for me, is not another part of a soundtrack; it is something that also helps to approach a character, to foresee the type of image - you see what I mean - it's like a part of the process. Music, Chants & Rapps
I don't remember being afraid of anything in making films.
I don't think I see the way bodies move in any special way. People say I do, but everybody moves. I don't see why all of a sudden I'm a specialist in the way bodies move.
I don't want to be mysterious.
I hate family pressures and family responsibilities. I'm more comfortable as a stranger. I always imagined I could just live in a hotel. I'm afraid of family. Families, Children & Parenting
I hate the idea of growing accustomed to someone and being faithful.
I hate the victimization of women, always. Women
I have no relationship to the French bourgeoisie. I don't like connecting with them.
I have very strong relationships with my actors when I'm shooting. When you love an actor's work, you always feel you have to go further, and you make several films together. One film just gives you time to get acquainted. Time ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I listen to a lot of different kinds of music. Music, Chants & Rapps
I long to make films. I'm dying to be inside the next film. I always hope there will be another film. Hope
I really started watching films when I was 14. As I became a teenager, there was nothing that really interested me apart from music, books and films. Music, Chants & Rapps
I reproach so many things about my family, but on the other hand, I kept asking them to be my family. Families, Children & Parenting
I suppose I am interested in the variety of human life - how people live. I am most interested in individuals and how they respond to challenges or to difficulties or just to each other. I am curious about people. Life
I think a film noir demands a beginning and an end.
I think cinema is linked to literature by a lot of social ways. Our brains are full of literature - my brain is.
I think working as an assistant was a part of knowing people who like cinema, and to learn from a movie, you have to watch it.
I think you cannot make films without choosing everything.
I was never very interested in my own experience, I think, in fact, if my films have a common link, maybe it's being a foreigner - it's common for people who are born abroad - they don't know so well where they belong.
I'm a very sinister person.
I'm not a tacky person, I think.
I'm not a very brave person.
I'm not rich.
I'm not witty.
I'm tiny. I'm small.
In a way, I feel obliged to respect Jean Rouch because I am told he is very important. Respect
In Kurosawa's films, the tragedy is that this strong man was crushed by corruption or mistrust at the end.
Inside the family, you can go from hate to passivity to extreme love within the same hour. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Families, Children & Parenting
It's not that I don't like words. There's sometimes no need for words.
I've experienced love and ambition and desire in my life, but never in the same way as in a family. Life ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Families, Children & Parenting
I've heard it said many times, 'Let's work on the look of the film,' but that doesn't work with me. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I've never seen a world where only men were responsible for the violence, and the women were innocent. They go together. Men and women are a violent mixture. Women
Life is not better and more moral than it was in the '50s. It's just the same. Life
Making pizza is a great job. All that kneading the dough - everything to do with cooking is wonderful, sensual.
Marguerite Duras was a very good friend of mine and an intellectual hero. She was also a sort of mother figure. Of course she was an influence.
My films are always looked at strangely, and there is nothing I can do about it.
My grandfather died when I was 12, but I remember the sorrow of my mother. Even now, she's an old lady, but when she speaks about her father, she looks young. A love like that is undefeated, you know? Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
My mother's father was from Brazil - a painter, and not a famous one - and was always broke. But he was a free spirit, a great grandfather. Fame
Often, women as little girls are sent off on a track for them to live a perfect life and be a perfect woman. Not for boys, who can be themselves with their mood and their temper. Life ;Women
Shoes have a meaning.
Sometimes bleak is good. Sometimes bleak is necessary. Some part of life is always bleak. Life
Sometimes I feel like John Wayne.
The camera is not your eye, and it's not the eye of the audience. I don't think it's my eye, either. It belongs to the film.
The cinema should be human and be part of people's lives; it should focus on ordinary existences in sometimes extraordinary situations and places. That is what really motivates me.
The history of colonisation cannot disappear. History
The only thing I find interesting is self-interest.
There seem to be more women producers than men. Women
We don't all look alike - some people think they're tough, some people think they're fragile - but in the end, we share a lot.
What I don't like so much is to give explanations about people's behaviour... I'm not interested in making conclusions. I would never think about myself or anyone else, 'Well, this happened, this happened, this happened, so this must be the result.' It doesn't work like that with me. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
What I like is the idea of a group, even if it's just two people - the idea of solitude within a group.
When I was a child I had a nightmare, and in the morning, I asked my mother and father, 'If I kill someone, would you still love me?' My parents were very preoccupied with this, but I think I'm not the only one to ask for that - not love, but absolute fidelity. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Morning
When I was doing 'Beau Travail,' I listened a lot to Benjamin Britten.
When making a film, if I feel nothing in my body, I can't work. I have to touch. I have to feel. I never stop touching. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
When you have countries that have a lot of minerals and diamonds and oil and are in business with companies from all over the world - but these companies don't share, really, their profits - this is called post-post-colonial. Business, Commerce & Finance
'White Material' is about courage and craziness.
You can spend your whole life in France without ever thinking about the Legion. Life
You don't grow up naive in Africa.