Trouble Every Day screened at IFFR in 2002. Six months previously, the film had unleashed a veritable scandal during the Cannes film festival, where it premiered. Following the gentle family drama Nénette et Boni (1996) and the pure, visual sumptuousness of Beau travail (1999), Denis presented a bloody spectacle about desire and love; about the thin line between a kiss and a bite.
The saying ‘I could eat you up’ gets a very literal meaning in Trouble Every Day. A newlywed American couple arrives in Paris. On their honeymoon, of course – but also for something else. The husband, Shane (Vincent Gallo), is looking for an old colleague, a doctor who has important information about a severe issue Shane is facing. Then it becomes apparent that this doctor, Semeneau, has gone into hiding to protect his wife Coré (Beatrice ‘La Grande Bouche’ Dalle), who has a very great appetite for love. The quest for the hidden and darkest areas of our brains unfolds at a slow tempo, fragmented, with sparse dialogue and restrained acting. The music is by Tindersticks, who were also responsible for the soundtrack of Nénette et Boni.
Claire Denis was a guest at IFFR last year, when she gave a masterclass looking back on her entire oeuvre. IFFR screened her latest (and first English-language) film High Life (2018), a science fiction work with Robert Pattinson and Juliette Binoche in the lead roles. A film just as contrary as Trouble Every Day, with Denis again using stylised characters and undermining the rules of the genre.