Film screening: L’Intrus (2004) by Claire Denis – Wednesday 28 January

L'Intrus image

Gorvy Lecture Theatre (Dyson Building, Battersea), 14.00-16.15

Preceding the research biennial, this film series seeks to explore how and in what ways ethical questions have been and can be interrogated in film.

‘The intruder (l’intrus) enters by force, through surprise or ruse, in any case without the right and without having first been admitted. There must be something of the intrus in the stranger; otherwise, the stranger would lose its strangeness: if he already has the right to enter and remain, if he is awaited and received without any part of him being unexpected or unwelcome, he is no longer the intrus, nor is he any longer the stranger. It is thus neither logically acceptable, nor ethically admissible, to exclude all intrusion in the coming of the stranger, the foreign.’

– Jean-Luc Nancy, ‘The Intruder’, 2000

How can the body adapt or indeed adopt an ethical position?

L’Intrus is a film written and directed by Claire Denis, based upon the autobiographical essay by the philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy. Louis Trebor (Michel Subor), an ex-mercenary living in the Jura Mountains, is increasingly suffering from a heart condition. He abandons his home, his beloved dogs, and his estranged son (Grégoire Colin) in pursuit of a black market heart transplant in Korea before travelling to Tahiti, where he spent time in his youth, in hopes of reconnecting with a son he’s never met.

‘Like the earlier Trouble Every Day (2001), Denis’ later project features a protagonist involved in graphic acts of murder, drawing attention to the unstable, transgressive and animalistic qualities of the human body. One can observe a world in which blood ties are tenuous, bodies are fragmented or broken apart, and human contact can be fatal. More a visual poem than a balanced, coherent narrative, Denis’ eighth fictional feature film is an ambitious project charting one man’s quest for physical and spiritual healing.’ – Kath Dooley, Senses of Cinema

Biennial film screenings are curated by Helena Bonett, Emily Richardson and Mercedes Vicente