Day of British Cinema : PICTURE HOUSE
In 1995 , Claire Denis contributed a short ﬁlm to a British series entitled Picture House, in which ﬁlmmakers were asked to create short ﬁlms (hers is two minutes long) inspired by works of art.
Denis used a print from a collection entitled “Duo,” (1994) by French artist Jacques de Loustal Loustal’s print shows a black man dressed in a white suit, who sits on a chair and observes the lower half of a white woman’s body, stretched out on a bed. To the accompaniment of “Tin Tin Deo” (played by the Roy Nathanson Quartet), Denis’s ﬁlm moves from the print to an observer, played by Alex Descas, who is seen in close-up and extreme close-up as he smokes, apparently looks at the image (we don’t see him and the image in the same shot), and stares into the camera. If Descas mirrors the man in the print, who would appear to be a prostitute’s client, his gaze has considerably more range, particularly given that he looks directly at the camera, and at the spectator. The catalogue for the exhibition describes Denis’s ﬁlm as “a witty and erotic tension between voyeurism and black and white” (“Day of British Cinema” 1995)
text: Claire Denis (Contemporary Film Directors) by Judith Mayne.