Martine Beugnet
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Claire Denis' first film, Chocolat, was a deceptively gentle family chronicle set in colonial Africa. Selected for the Cannes Festival, it was hailed by the critics and festival audiences as a remarkable first feature. This introduction presents the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book attempts to outline the multi-faceted, poetic vision of the contemporary world that emerges through Denis' filmmaking to date and to bring to light its main thematic, temporal, spatial and stylistic implications. The analysis focuses primarily on her fictional feature films, which form the main body of her work and have generally become easily accessible in video or DVD format. The book summarises the principal aspects of the director's biographical and professional background, with reference to the wider historical context and to French cinema production in general. It provides a detailed analysis of each of her feature films.

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