Claire Denis Duo

 Jacques de Loustal /  1995
In just three elegantly cool and fluid shots, Claire Denis creates a witty and erotic tension between voyeurism and "black and white." 

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.

Two-page color spread of a Jacques de Loustal painting titled "Le Contemplatif." The spread shows a man dressed in a white suit and seated in a chair staring at the bottom of a naked woman who is lying on a blue bed. There is a red screen behind her…
by Jacques de Loustal
New Yorker, p. 104.  August 25, 1997

The Parisian artist Jacques de Loustal travels to exotic destinations--the volcanoes of java, the medinas of North Africa, the streets beneath the Williamsburg Bridge-and makes sketches, in ink or pencil, on the spot; he adds colors later, in his hotel room, while his impressions of the light are still fresh. His paintings and watercolors, even of imagined scenes, such as the one. depicted in Le Contemplatif, " at the right, exhibit a peculiarly Gallic immediacy that owes something to Matisse (the sunniness, the prurience) and also to Godard (the studied carelessness, the cool edge). Loustals work goes up this fall in a show at an appropriate setting: the Erotic Art Museum, in Hamburg.