FREE THURSDAYS: 35 Shots of Rum

FREE THURSDAYS: 35 Shots of Rum

Director: Claire Denis

2009, France/Germany, 100 min, 35mm

Language: French and German w/English subtitles

Program Notes

Free films at the SNF Parkway continue with a free-admission 35mm presentation of one of the greatest works by perhaps the master filmmaker Claire Denis, 35 SHOTS OF RUM!

Widely hailed as one of the best films of 2009, this masterwork comes from the renowned director of Beau Travail, Trouble Every Day, Chocolat, and Nenette et Boni. 35 Shots of Rum is a film about family, and making new families from the people around you.

Lionel (Alex Descas) is a middle-aged widower who makes his living driving a public-transit train and shares an apartment in Paris with his twentysomething daughter, Joséphine (Mati Diop). Lionel and Joséphine have a warm and caring relationship, and while it’s not Lionel’s nature to say very much, his affection for his daughter is clear. Lionel’s on-and-off girlfriend Gabrielle (Nicole Dogue) and their footloose friend Noé (Grégoire Colin) live in the same building, and together the four have fallen into a casual family relationship. However, when Lionel’s close friend and fellow driver René (Julieth Mars Toussaint) announces he’s retiring, Lionel becomes painfully aware that he’s not as young as he once was, and realizes how much he depends on his daughter. Sumptuously filmed and featuring an evocative score by Tindersticks, 35 Shots of Rum casts a lovely spell unlike any other movie you’ve seen.

“You can live in a movie like this. It doesn’t lecture you. These people are getting on with their lives, and Denis observes them with tact. She’s not intruding, she’s discovering. We sense there’s not a conventional plot, and that frees us from our interior movie-going clock. We flow with them.”—Roger Ebert, in his 4 (out of 4) star-review

“I liked these characters, and suddenly not having them in my life anymore, simply because Denis has decided to start the closing credits, devastated me.”—Wesley Morris, Boston Globe

“35 Shots of Rum is a quiet and lovely new film by the French director Claire Denis.”—A.O. Scott, The New York Times