Often lumped in with l’enfant terrible filmmakers like Catherine Breillat and Gaspar Noé, Bruno Dumont has softened his approach since Twentynine Palms (2003) made you want to through your Milk Duds at the screen. A more even temperament has added an interesting dimension to his work, but it is also somewhat relative, given the difficult, brutal, and sometimes confusing material found in Flanders (2006), Hadewijch (2009), and Hors Satan (2011). His most recent promises to be another experiment in these same waters (and on us), but with an unusual tick of conformity in structure: a historical biopic starring Juliette Binoche.
Camille Claudel 1915 takes place over three days in an asylum where Claudel has been institutionalized and where she would eventually die. Forget the fiery costume aesthetics of the 1988 Bruno Nuytten/Isabelle Adjani film – Dumont subdues all colors to ash, moderates all emotions with resignation and heartbreak, and casts real-life mentally disable people in supporting roles. The result is something unique to the combination of Dumont’s rigor and Binoche’s humanity.
Camille Claudel 1915 screens Monday, December 9 and Tuesday, December 10 at 7:00pm and 9:00pm. Advanced tickets available at trylon.org