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The Alamo Drafthouse in Downtown Presents “Beau Travail” by Claire Denis

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Dpwntown Los Angeles
00 W 7th St Ste. U240
Los Angeles, CA 90017

February 18, 2024


This searing and sensuous tone poem, an adaptation of Herman Melville’s “Billy Budd, Sailor,” showcases Denis as a visual tone poet.

Amid the azure waters and sunbaked desert landscapes of Djibouti, a French Foreign Legion sergeant (Denis Lavant) sows the seeds of his own ruin as his obsession with a striking young recruit (Grégoire Colin) plays out to the thunderous, operatic strains of Benjamin Britten. Denis and cinematographer Agnès Godard fold military and masculine codes of honor, colonialism’s legacy, destructive jealousy, and repressed desire into shimmering, hypnotic images that ultimately explode in one of the most startling and unforgettable endings in all of modern cinema.

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