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Good Work (1999) - movie overview

Good Work (1999)

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Original title: Beau travail


Release Date
• USA: Mar 31, 2000
DVD Release Date
• R1: Oct 15, 2002
• R2: 20 Nov 2000

Running Time
1 hour, 32 minutes

Country France

Studio La Sept ARTE, Pathé Television, SM Films

More info on IMDb.com

Other Titles
• Good Work



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Genre: Drama, Military, Experimental, Psychodrama, Surreal

Plot: In loosely adapting Herman Melville's BILLY BUDD, Claire Denis has constructed a dreamy, detached visual poem that is at once somber and gorgeous. Denis transfers the tale's original location from the sea to the sparse landscape of East Africa's Djibouti. The film is narrated by Sergeant Galoup (Denis Lavant), a French Foreign Legion officer who is intimidated by the arrival of Sentain (Gregoire Colin). Galoup becomes jealous when his commander, Forestier (Michel Subor), begins showing the new recruit extreme favoritism, and after Sentain bravely aids in the rescue of a downed aircraft, Forestier bestows upon him a glowing commendation. Galoup, overcome with jealousy, recklessly acts out on his irrational emotion, with near tragic results.

Denis boldly composes BEAU TRAVAIL like a silent film, including several extended scenes of the soldiers training in a rhythmic, choreographed manner. Agnes Godard's hypnotic cinematography captures the beauty of the soldier's tanned bodies and photographs the landscape with a rhythm that is both haunting and poetic. In what may be one of cinema's most electric final shots, Denis gives Galoup a last chance at redemption, after his recent descent into jealousy and cruelty. It provides an invigorating conclusion to the film and proves that

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 Directed by
Claire Denis
Trouble Every Day, Chocolat, Friday Night
 Written by
Claire Denis
Medina, El, Venus Beauty Salon, Trouble Every Day
Jean-Pol Fargeau
Trouble Every Day, Pola X, Chocolat
 Cast
Denis Lavant
A Very Long Engagement, Lovers on the Ninth Bridge, Deep in the Woods
Michel Subor
Jules and Jim, Topaz, What's New, Pussycat
Richard Courcet
Clubbed to Death, J'ai pas sommeil
Nicolas Duvauchelle
Trouble Every Day, Petit voleur, Le, Right Now
Dan Herzberg
Taxi, Revenants, Les, Cousin, Le
[more]
 Music By



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