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    The Best Films You’ve Never Seen: Beau Travail

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    Event description

    The Best Films You’ve Never Seen is thrilled to present Claire Denis’s 1999 modern classic Beau Travail. Inspired by Herman Melville’s 1888 novella Billy Budd, but set against the backdrop of the Djibouti desert, this shimmering, poetic film explores the complexities of desire, masculinity, and isolation within the confines of a French Foreign Legion outpost. Beau Travail debuted in Sight and Sound’s 2022 Greatest Films of All Time list at number 7, but has long been revered by cinephiles and filmmakers; director Barry Jenkins cites it as a key influence on his 2016 Oscar winning film, Moonlight.  

    This screening will open with an introduction from RMIT Cinema Studies academic Dr Djoymi Baker, who will discuss Beau Travail as key example of the ways Denis’ distinctive authorial style asks us to focus on landscapes and the body, and why this film resonates with audiences and critics alike. 

    The Best Films You've Never Seen is presented by RMIT Culture in partnership with RMIT Cinema Studies.

    Rating: MA15 
    Language: French (English subtitles) 
    Country: France 
    Year: 1999 
    Duration: 92mins  

    Image credit: still from Beau Travail (1999), courtesy Janus Films.

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