Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Intruder

The Intruder (Claire Denis, 2005) [7]

On the narrative level, this film is extremely difficult. There really is no linear narrative in this film. On a purely visual level, in terms of images, it is riveting and typical Denis. Her filmmaking has always been about the sensory experience of images, of letting the camera linger over bodies and landscapes. This film really has to be appreciated on a visual level with an almost complete disregard for plot. That's not to say there isn't one, but it is there. What story there is basically comes down to is a man living in rural France needs a heart transplant which soon his body begins to reject. The man then goes on a travelogue to Tahiti to make amends with his long lost son. Denis does not spend that much time on explaining anything and instead captures the happenings. It's this lack of explanation that makes the film difficult to follow in narrative terms. On a more abstract level, it is a much more rewarding experience. As with all her films, Denis captures numerous captivating images and they themselves speak of the important elements of this film: the man's loneliness, his need to make amends with his son, and the themes of intrusion. There are numerous intruders in the film, from the unexplained psychical intruders on the man's property to the man's other son and family to the heart itself. Who or what are the intruders are never really concrete. The distinction between dreams and actual existence are never really defined. It all creates a baffling experience. However, if the viewer can detach themselves from the constrictions of narrative and experience the film as a sensory experience and interact with it on the emotion of its images, it can be appreciated.

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