Claire Denis’s controversial New French Extreme horror movie Trouble Every Day has a scene in which Béatrice Dalle, turned into a sexual cannibal via a scientific experiment gone awry, is picked up by a truck driver whom she then consumes. Cineastes might think the moment a reference to David Cronenberg’s Rabid. But in a call to the Straight from Paris, Denis corrected that notion.
“I like very much Cronenberg’s films, but actually, really, no! This is not at all a reference to Cronenberg,” she explained, before dropping a tiny bomb. “There are three or four references, explicit, in the film to the photographs of Jeff Wall,” she said, describing the film as an “homage” to the renowned Vancouver artist. (She declined to point out which images, but said those familiar with Wall’s work will spot them.)
Also starring Vincent Gallo, Trouble Every Day scandalized Cannes in 2001 with its brutal, sexualized violence, but Denis thinks that the film “in a strange way is finding its audience. Everyone speaks about Trouble Every Day to me now. In a lot of countries, far away from France, a lot of people ask me questions, as if the film was sort of venomous poison with a slow action.”
Trouble Every Day screens at the Cinematheque on Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday (January 11, 13, and 14), along with Denis’s Chocolat and Beau Travail.