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France, 1994 (MIFF 2000, Written on the Skin – The Films of Claire Denis)

Director: Claire Denis

Asked to contribute to the French TV mini-series Tous les Garcons et les Filles de Leur Age (All the Boys and Girls in Their Time)—which assigned ten European directors the task of creating films about their adolescence, stipulating only that each include a party scene filled with the music of their era—Denis responded with this elegant and affectionate miniature.

Set in the late 60s, on the perimeters of an American army base somewhere outside Paris, it finds 15-year-old Martine (Alice Houri) struggling to come of age, having just learned that her best friend, Marlene, has recently lost her virginity—a distinction that threatens the two girls' relationship. As Marlene attempts to 'catch up' over the course of one long and confusing night, Denis delivers an uncondescending and utterly convincing depiction of teenage longing, rendering her heroine's misadventures with compassion and genuine insight.

She puts us in immediate and seemingly intimate contact with every character on the screen. Claire Denis has become one of the great directors of our time."— Amy Taubin

See also...

Intruder, the

France, 2004
Claire Denis' Golden Lion-nominated [The Intruder] distils the visual and aural economy she achieved in her much acclaimed [Beau Travail] (MIFF 00). Through an evocative, dreamlike visual code and an… More »


France, 2008
“Smoother than the finest liquor, reminds viewers how rarely movies capture the easygoing love embodied in a functional family, with all its support and tenderness.” - Variety ... Claire Denis (B… More »


France, 2008
“A bold, very carnal take on adolescent female bonding.” - Variety ... In 1942 in Tunisia, two teenage girls struggle to hold their friendship together in the face of cultural differences and eme… More »

In Conversation with Claire Denis

Philippa Hawker, senior film writer for The Age, talks with French director Claire Denis (Beau travail, MIFF 00; Trouble Every Day, MIFF 03) about her approach to filmmaking, and about her new film 3… More »


France, 1994
Director Claire Denis' (Chocolat 1988) contri­bution to the series Tons les Garcons et les Filles de Leur age brings both toughness and ten­derness to the potentially touchy scenario of three… More »

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