Claire Denis: Cinema of Transgression: A 2-part article
By Robin Wood.
Part 1: Introduction and Chocolat.
Introduction: Claire Denis and Nadine Gordimer.
The tension between standing apart and being fully involved; that is what makes a writer. That is where we begin. (Nadine Gordimer, Introduction to Selected Stories, 1975*).
I discovered the films of Claire Denis and the fiction of Nadine Gordimer around the same time, about ten years ago, and their fascination has increased steadily as their work has progressed, and with continuously renewed acquaintance. Having read Gordimer’s thirteen novels haphazardly over the years whenever I found one in a bookstore (without realizing that there were indeed thirteen, not to mention the many volumes of stories), I settled down to reread them all chronologically: an amazing experience, as they reveal in their constantly shifting background and its foreground challenges to the characters, a veritable history of South Africa right up to and beyond the end of apartheid. Yet their significance, if one has the least imagination, goes far beyond their background, their location, their date in history. Recently, it has become difficult to find them in bookstores, when I want to buy one or other for a friend. Is this because apartheid is ended and they are regarded as now irrelevant? Should we no longer read Jane Austen, because her novels are set in early nineteenth century England – or, for that matter, Shakespeare, because his plays were written against a background in many ways somewhat stranger to us than Austen’s novels and utterly remote from our own age? Gordimer’s novels and stories deserve a permanent place within English language literature; all her works should be permanently available, within a culture that retained any real feeling for art and any sense of its own history. She seems to me probably the finest living writer of fiction in the English language – of those I have read, and one cannot possibly read everything in an age where novels praised as ‘important’ within the pages of the daily and weekly newspapers and monthly magazines (and usually forgotten by next year) take up an entire floor in our major bookstores. What we are offered now is what sells.
The achievement of Claire Denis might appear minor juxtaposed with Gordimer’s: only a handful of films – but, if one measures in terms of quantity, remember that Gordimer had almost a forty-year start on her, her first novel The Lying Days published in 1953, Denis’ first film Chocolat released in 1989 – and a more scattered and seemingly haphazard range of subjects, yet it has exerted on me the same kind of steadily growing fascination, each viewing of a film deepening the experience, revealing further complexities. Denis seems
The justification for juxtaposing them should be (aside even from their distinction) obvious: both grew up in Africa, both experienced colonialism and its oppressions at first hand and intimately, both were able to analyse and reject its very premise. And both are women artists of fully demonstrated intelligence. My opening quotation from Gordimer could be applied, without the least incongruity, to Denis. I associate these shared characteristics with the circumstances of a colonial upbringing (however atypical and idiosyncratic), combined with the fact that both artists are women: the experience of a double, complex, alienation, as females within a patriarchal culture and as whites within an oppressed and subjugated black culture. The complexity of this is clear: as whites they were, by birth if not from inclination, the representatives of an oppressive dominant culture, but as females they were born into a culture of oppression – though both appear to have transcended, without great difficulty, the cultural oppression of women, on which the feminist movements of the late 60s/70s, revolutionary in their time, seem to have made such short- lived inroads (women today seem to believe, by and large, that they can do everything that men can do, including making great careers in corporate capitalism and adding to the possibility of the end of the world; I await, with hope and impatience, the next eruption of radical feminism, as these things always go in cycles).
There arises, at once, an important difference: Denis left Africa, Gordimer stayed, to be one of the world’s greatest creative historians of her native culture (aside from her pervasive and extraordinary insights into human nature and human society generally – insights that I have personally learnt from almost daily over the past ten years). Denis’ achievement has necessarily been more diffuse, less concentrated: the one who stayed, the one who left. Though blacks turn up frequently in her films, they are no longer (after Chocolat) treated as oppressed people: rather as alienated people surviving in a culture where everyone is alienated, in one way or another. Denis lacks Gordimer’s extraordinary range (one wonders, given the diversities among the thirteen novels and the prolific and invaluable short stories, whether there’s anything in contemporary human existence her mind, experience and imagination can’t encompass). What fundamentally connects them is intelligence – an intelligence inseparable from critical distance, the ability to encompass a complex whole of interconnected parts where the connections are not always obvious. With Denis, it’s already there in Chocolat, its supreme manifestation to date being I Can’t Sleep.
With the intelligence comes distance – inevitably, giving the sense of ‘solitude’ (Gordimer’s word: ‘…solitude is too quickly dubbed alienation’) that an open, just and humane mind must experience within a culture of oppression. Gordimer puts it admirably: ‘Growing up in a gold-mining town in South Africa as a member of a white minority, to begin with, my particular solitude as an intellectual-by-inclination was so complete I did not even know I was one’. The distance encourages objectivity, becomes an all-embracing critical distance. There are no simple or straightforward identification figures in Gordimer’s fiction or Denis’ films. No one is exempt from scrutiny. At the same time, no one is simply condemned; all are understood, and if to understand all is not necessarily to forgive all, it enables a certain degree of generosity. What is condemned (in Gordimer, and in Chocolat) is the system, not the individuals trapped within different positions within it. Their style, whether of writing or filmmaking, derives logically from this. Gordimer’s style, at once personal (no one else could have written those books) and impersonal, demands a certain distance from the reader (we cannot be allowed to lose ourselves in a good story, we are taught to think at every point). It frequently suggests poetry rather than prose: ‘…the ragged work-gang whose activities sent up the regular grunt of axes thudding into stumps, and the crunch of spades gritting into earth’, p.365: the precision of ‘grunt’ and ‘crunch’ there, differentiating the sounds of labour, the rhythm, the assonance (‘grunt…thudding…stumps… crunch’) don’t simply describe, they enact. Such effects are not mere occasional ‘moments’, they are a constant characteristic of her style. Thus (an elementary example), in the story A Hunting Accident (in the volume A Soldier’s Embrace), when a truck drives ‘…across the plain to mopane forest, through mopane forest and out into the open again’, the repetition is not idle or careless, it conveys the experience of movement. Similarly, her use of metaphor and simile repeatedly pulls us back, demands our conscious attention, in its initial oddity and our discovery of its accuracy: ‘…Manie Swemmer would drive home…past the fields shuffling and spreading a hand of mealies, then tobacco, then chilli bushes blended by distance, like roof-tiles, into red-rose-yellow.’ Describing fields as a hand of cards that subsequently become roof-tiles must initially strike us as strange, even perverse, but, as above, the metaphor enacts rather than describes, what is enacted being the experience of driving: the approach, the passing, the dwindling into distance, the shifting perspective enacted in the difference of imagery.
Just as Gordimer invites us to explore every nuance of a complex sentence, so does Denis of a complex shot. Nothing is simply handed to us. We are expected to be alert and perceptive at all points, to become aware of nuance, and of the possible significance of an apparently trivial detail (we shall come upon numerous instances in Chocolat, and subsequently in I Can’t Sleep). We are also permitted, by both our auteurs, a certain freedom of interpretation that demands the active participation of the viewer/reader, the ‘meaning’ of a scene being often more a matter of resonance than of ‘making a point’. (See, for example, the climactic moments of Friday’s Footprint, in the Selected Stories, and of Chocolat – in both cases the precise motivation underlying the action is not spelt out for us, and each of us may place a different emphasis, a slightly different interpretation, on them. It is not a matter of vagueness but of complexity).
Certain critics have commented on the lack in Gordimer’s work of a clear feminist perspective, as if this were something that it is the duty of any woman writer to offer. The same charge might well be levelled against Denis, and it would be equally unjust. Gordimer tells us that ‘…all writers are androgynous beings’. I am not sure that this is true: surely Jane Austen was more inward with her female than male characters, and Hemingway more at ease with his men. It is accurate enough, however, for Gordimer and Denis, who appear completely at ease with both. If you read/watched their works without foreknowledge of authorship I doubt whether you would confidently guess the gender of either. True androgyny – the sharing and balancing of the allegedly male and female attributes – seems to me the human ideal and our way to the future: the balance one finds equally in the music of Mozart and Schubert. The androgyny clearly goes with the necessity for distance and objectivity, the way in which Gordimer and Denis make us examine situations rather than individuals, from a necessarily ‘androgynous’ perspective. I see Gordimer and Denis as strong women, neither masculine nor feminine but combining the generally assumed attributes of both sexes, strength and compassion, intelligence and sensitivity, with a power that has nothing to do with oppression and domination but is powerful nonetheless. Neither has the need of an explicitly feminist discourse because both assume that they are the equals of men and because their respective works are the triumphant manifestations of strength, integrity and intelligence.
Structure: Denis’ central problem is to tell a ‘love’ story (or, perhaps more accurately, a story of mutual erotic fascination and desire, a different version of ‘the love that dare not speak its name’) in which the ‘love’ not only remains necessarily unconsummated but cannot even be acknowledged or admitted to exist, the desire developing within the framework of colonialism with its taboo on interracial sexual relations, the woman white and married, the man black and a servant, the forbidden nature of the attraction at once nurturing it as in a hothouse and prohibiting its flowering. This is the film’s central thread around which everything else is structured, Denis constructing a network of subtle hints and suggestions, through looks, caught or denied, through the framing and the placing of characters, and through the puzzled, troubled eyes of the child France, the increasingly disturbed spectator. Distancing devices abound, the most obvious being the framing device (France, as a woman, returning to a now post-colonial Africa to revisit the scenes of childhood), which presents the main body of the film as memory or not-so-ancient history.
Denis’ other major strategy is to use departures and arrivals that affect the central relationship either directly or (more frequently) indirectly and inadvertently, increasing tension and, eventually, provoking crisis and catastrophe. These give the film its most obvious narrative structure, as follows:
1. The departure of Marc/Francois Cluzet (the husband, the local administrator) on a tour of inspection, leaving Aimee/Giulia Boschi virtually alone with the child and the trusted servant Protee/Isaach de Bankole, whom he leaves explicitly in charge; he is absent through most of the film’s first half (though we see him in a series of brief sequences on his travels).
2. The arrival of the repulsive Jonathan Boothby, a British administrator, representative of a harsher, more oppressive colonialism, degenerate, cynical and miserable to the verge of desperation.
3. Marc’s return, after Boothby leaves.
4. The forced landing of a plane, necessitating the acceptance into the station of a number of people in various stages of disgruntlement, with varying attitudes to the subject race, the worst being the middle-aged man who keeps a black woman (announced as his ‘servant’) for his sexual satisfactions and attempts to bribe a dignified and distinguished black dignitary, who merely pretends he doesn’t exist.
5. The arrival (again unexpected) of an ex-seminarian, in certain respects the film’s most interesting character, which deliberately provokes the crisis.
The framing sequences
The opening credit shot (the first shot of her first feature) defines immediately our relationship to Denis’ characters, an ambiguous balancing of identification and distance. We see the sea in extreme and static long shot. The image then ‘comes to life’, and what we took for black marks or rocks are revealed as a man and a child playing in the shallow water. The shot is held through the credits and then, without a cut, the camera pans slowly right across the sea and coastline, taking in palm trees, the beach, and finally a woman (the adult France) seated under a tree, looking out to sea. The movement at once suggests and denies that what we have been shown is her POV: it can’t be, of course, because we are now looking at her and there has been no cut, yet the shot might be said to incorporate her POV. Shot 2: cut in to a medium close-up, France watching, a strict POV shot expected. But: Shot 3: Close-up, the child in the sea, lying on his back, eyes closed, arms spread. He is indeed what France is looking at, but from at least a hundred yards distance. What is established here is not just the introduction of a character but also the basis of Denis’ shooting methodology throughout her career. Here, specifically, our relationship to France in the film’s present time establishes our relationship to her (as child) in past time: we are at once with her but studying her.
Another aspect of this is that the presentation of France raises enigmas, which can only be, resolved when we think about them in retrospect. She herself gives away little, in the car journey with the black man and his little boy. There are hints that she is returning to the scenes of her past, but this is not spelt out for us, nor does she wish to share her memories with the man who has given her a lift. We know that she is troubled, that this is not a joyful or nostalgic revisiting of a happy childhood. What evokes a precise memory for France (the father teaching his son the African names for parts of the body) cannot do so for us, because the memory is of an incident we have not yet witnessed and can know nothing about; only when it occurs in mid film can we make the connection, and the significance is as much a matter of difference as similarity: Protee the servant obediently naming the parts for the amusement of the young France, who (while feeling a strong, instinctive attraction to him and dependency on him, is learning from her elders how the dominant race (or at least its less objectionable representatives) treats its ‘inferiors’ – with an uneasy balancing act of kindness, familiarity, distance and condescension.
Another function of this prologue, in its hints of relationship between past and present, is to contrast the ‘liberated’ Africa of the present with the colonized Africa of the past. There is of course no doubt over, which is preferred, but Denis is no bleary-eyed sentimentalist. Yes, the ‘natives’ are now free, and their freedom is celebrated; on the other hand, another, less tangible, form of domination is establishing itself: what today we call globalization, the taking over of ‘liberated’ countries by ‘big business’: our introduction to the town, when they get to it, is presented in terms of American pop music, American beer, American gas stations, American advertising. Nothing, typically, is spelt out for us, there is no dialogue, no exaggeration of close-ups, jump-cuts, etc., to force our reaction; we are left to notice, observe and draw our conclusions. Then, when the journey is resumed, Denis again introduces what is in effect the beginning of the ‘flashback’ that will make up the main body of the film without the usual ‘signals’ (a slow dissolve, a printed date…) that will spell things out for us: simply the landscape changes, we are driving past bamboo and straw huts which could indicate merely that the car is travelling into more ‘primitive territory. That we are now suddenly in the past is suggested (rather than ‘established’) merely by the cut to France as a small child, in the back of a small truck with Protee.
It is clear to me (having got this far!) that one could write a whole book on this film – or at least one of those ‘Modern Classics’ monographs from the British Film Institute – dissecting every scene. Here, I must content myself with a more selective examination of some of its themes and ‘key’ moments – assuming of course the reader’s familiarity. Personally, I never read analyses of films I haven’t seen – it is essential to the practice of criticism that the reader is in a position to disagree and, when necessary, argue, if in silence.
Though we experience the film partly (though by no means consistently) through the consciousness of the child France, it is clear that Protee is the prime object of contemplation. Even in this first film de Bankole is established as something of an icon, familiar not only from Denis’ subsequent work but also from certain films of Jim Jarmusch (Night on Earth, Ghost Dog), for whom Denis worked early in his career as assistant director (Down by Law). A figure of quite extraordinary physical beauty, his role here is in some ways comparable to that of Terence Stamp in Pasolini’s Teorema: no god, certainly but godlike in his magnetism, attracting the fascination and desire (in various forms) of the other central characters. Like every other character in the film he is inevitably (given the inherent tensions of colonial culture) compromised at every point. He understands and accepts his function, and has the intelligence to know that this entails ‘making the best of a bad job’ while attempting to retain his dignity: he is no revolutionary, though he understands that the faint rumbles of revolution are not far away (his knowledge of what – presumably – goes on in the schoolhouse at night, when blacks get together). The precariousness and essentially compromised nature of his position can be illustrated in every scene in which he is prominent. Consider, as typical, the sequence of the school visit to dictate to a teacher a letter to his parents promising to send them money: France, on a mule, watches from a distance, superior in her position as a ‘white’, yet clearly nervous of the environment, the crowd of black children as potential spectators. Eventually, she (the ‘mistress’ already) summons him to escort her home, and her words are taken up as a chant by the kids who follow him, the strong, handsome, illiterate black servant. When she asks him, on the way home, to whom he was writing, he tells her it was to his ‘fiancée’, the lie insisting upon his freedom and independence.
This is followed immediately by the ‘feeding’ scene (which relates back to the ant sandwich at the beginning of the flashback and forward to the later France/Protee dining scene, in which she proclaims her disgust – his reaction: ‘Sale negre’, at once ironic and complicit – when he eats an insect in her presence): apparently an established ritual, Protee kneels beside France’s chair for her to spoon food into his mouth, as if he were half-baby, half-beggar.
Dancing with Boothby
The sequence of Boothby’s visit seems to me something of a quiet, unobtrusive, characteristically understated tour de force, if so contradictory a phenomenon can be said to exist: a small model of Denis’ intelligence, sensitivity, control. It opens with Protee helping Aimee (at her request) to do up her dress, for the evening. (She has already told him that, as a servant, he must ‘wear his red sash’, and she, learning that Boothby has put on his tuxedo, must have a different dress: protocol, even among whites, must be observed). Denis suggests clearly enough, visually, that Aimee could easily do it up herself. An extraordinary moment, which, in a way, sums up the entire film: Aimee is watching in the mirror; Protee looks up; in the mirror, their eyes meet, hold. Both seem deeply troubled, no words are spoken. We are also, surely, expected to take in various nuances, of which one is mutual desire, another that, as the wife of a colonial administrator, she must spend the evening entertaining a weary, debauched, failed acquaintance whom she doesn’t even like, whilst longing for the touch of a black servant, a far more suitable partner than the hideous Boothby. A third is the impossibility – the almost literal unthinkability – of that touch. So, for the occasion, Protee must wear his red sash, and take his shower ‘at the last minute’, the black aroma being, apparently, not something a British colonialist can bear.
Boothby wants to dance. He also wants to get Aimee (or perhaps, in his desperation, anyone) into bed.
Night. France is watching from the outside darkness. As through her eyes we see Aimee (in her best dress) dancing with Boothby as, left background, Protee stands at attention, wearing his red sash, the one brilliant colour, hence (although in the background) the main attraction for our eyes. He seems constantly aware. Then, outside on the porch seat, Boothby tries to hold her hand. To evade him while remaining polite, she draws his attention to the plaque on a nearby pillar: ‘This house is the last house on earth’, left behind by the previous German colonialist. The French don’t seem to realize that their own end is approaching (they are so decent, after all!). But Boothby’s chatter shifts, unexpectedly, to Marc, the husband, and how he loves this land, ‘the people, insects, everything’, adding a question as to whether he still keeps his diaries, which Aimee counters with ‘They say this official was killed by one of his boys’. Cut directly to a medium shot of Protee, on duty, eyes closed, listening from inside. Boothby gets to the point: the last time he was here, he and Marc slept together; why not repeat the treat with his wife? She tells him he’s ‘tipsy’; in front of Protee he summons his own servant and demands his arm to guide him to bed (to Boothby, a servant is a servant, not a human being). An apparently ‘empty’ shot in which nothing (or everything) happens: Aimee remains outside, leaning against a pillar (provocatively? unconsciously?) in the darkness. We can’t see her face. Protee, inside, at his place, watches her. Her head turns slightly – she is looking at him, their eyes (perhaps – it isn’t certain) meet. He leaves.
It is all done, by Denis, so quietly, and in long shot. We barely notice what is going on. But, a sequence later, we are given Aimee, still in evening dress, in her room, in her chair, disturbed, lonely, the camera moving around her uneasily. She hears steps and asks (hopefully? fearfully?) ‘Is that you, Protee?’ He tells her he’s waiting to turn off the generator (which will subsequently play an important role). But was it necessary for him to come in to ask her? Everyone else has gone to bed.
Shower scene 1 and the rock phallus
The next day, Aimee finds Protee in her room, tidying her clothes (including underwear). She sits down, head turned away, then abruptly, rudely, asks him why he’s there and orders him never to enter her room again. She then tells him to prepare a shower.
There are two shower areas, the film makes clear, both outdoors, both fairly primitive constructions, though one (for the ruling class) is decorated with painted patterns, the other (for the ‘boys’) is not. Protee starts filling the tank for Aimee’s shower with buckets, and the water all runs out at the base (he has presumably forgotten to close some exit). He breaks down, collapses and sobs, an obvious overreaction to what is only a very minor nuisance, suggesting his desperation. We are not told whether Aimee gets her shower, but the scene is followed by its ‘echo’ (the next day?): Protee is under the shower for blacks, soaping himself all over luxuriously; in the far background, screen right, we see Aimee and France returning from one of their visits to the graveyard, where the German colonialists are buried. They pass behind the shower area, unnoticed, then, as they approach the house, France asks why they go there so often. Protee hears the voice, freezes: if they turned, they would see him naked. Then, abruptly, his attitude changes: he sobs, as in extreme frustration. There follows immediately one of the film’s most surprising and audacious moments: without preparation, we are shown a mountain peak topped by a rock in the precise shape of an erect phallus, its base two low rocks exactly like a man’s balls. No characters are visible. But then, without a cut, the camera moves slightly, slowly, to the right, revealing Marc, on his journey, seated, staring intently at the rock. Cut to the very careful, almost loving drawing he has made of it. Of the film’s leading characters, we perhaps know least about Marc, and what this tells us isn’t entirely clear. It connects, however, to two other moments, one earlier, one later. We may think back to Boothby, and his casual remark to Aimee that he and Marc slept together (which we took at the time to mean ‘innocently’, especially as Aimee didn’t respond or look surprised or shocked: they had been drinking all night). And we must certainly think forward, to the scene in the grounds when the problematic seminarian reads aloud to Aimee and France from the notebook that he has borrowed from Marc. The passage concerns Marc’s sense of the beauty of black skin and its superiority to white, expressed in terms that carry definite erotic overtones. The point of my earlier reference to Teorema should now be clear, as is the point of the character’s name: ‘Protean’ here no longer means the ability to take on any shape, but the ability to fascinate, in one way or another, any human being.
I described the seminarian as in certain respects the film’s most interesting character; he is also its most ruthless, and, in obvious ways, it’s most admirable. Yet it is he who provokes the final catastrophe, with its violence and cruelty, from which the adult France (as we see at the end) still bears the literal scars. Denis’ point is clear enough: her meticulous analysis of the tensions (sexual as well as political) on which colonialism is built has shown us its precariousness and suggested the constant imminence of explosion. All that is needed is a catalyst.
The seminarian is the only character in the film willing to take a personal, practical and explicit stand on the race issue: he rejects white protocol, bathes in the ‘boys’‘ shower, moves out of the house, eats with the blacks, sleeps with the blacks, chats familiarly with them on equal terms. Ironically, his behaviour results in his greatest enemy, critic and antagonist being, not the white ‘masters’ (Marc is easygoing enough), but Protee, too much and too long a member of the established order, who has his position (higher than that of all other neighbourhood blacks) to protect, not to mention Aimee. The seminarian is, in his own way, as fascinated by Protee as anyone: he just can’t leave him alone, never losing an opportunity to provoke him. When Protee angrily rebukes him for using the ‘boys’‘ shower, he turns, naked, towards the house, flaunting himself for anyone (and Aimee in particular, understanding Protee’s feelings for her?) to see. And he has dangerously shrewd insights into just what is going on: eating outside with the blacks, with Aimee in the house but within easy hearing distance, the door open, when Protee appears he calls out ‘Aimee, you’d like to be in my place, rubbing against Protee’. He is not only against racism, he’s against family secrets, the bearer of truth amid the denials and hypocrisies. The outburst of physical violence seems inevitable.
After it, Protee goes back into the house. Aimee, who has presumably seen and heard everything, is slumped down on the floor behind the curtains in an attitude of total subjection and despair. When Protee stands there in the dark, she reaches out and places her hand on his ankle (the nearest they ever get to physical contact). He rejects the advance. Then, in the generator shed, France approaches him, as she had earlier, making it clear that these are regular visits. He is sitting behind the machinery, an iron tube in the foreground. France says ‘It’s hot?’ Protee firmly places his hand on it; she does the same, withdrawing instantly, in great pain, staring at him, Why? written large on her face. He keeps his there for several seconds more. Is he punishing himself for his desire, or for his failure to follow it through? And why is he punishing the child, with a scar she will bear through life? Because, for him (the eating game, the schoolyard humiliation, her disgust at his eating an insect), she embodies the oppression under which he has lived, and which has compromised and humiliated him so thoroughly?
As with the novels and stories of Gordimer, the resonance of this film will endure long after literal colonialism has vanished from the face of the earth. We face today a whole new dimension of empire-building, through President Bush’s apparent dream of world domination via globalization and corporate capitalism, which may in the long (or even short) run make the evils of colonialism appear quite trivial.
Robin Wood was a groundbreaking critic and historian of cinema. The second part of this article on Claire Denis can be read here.
* All references to and quotations from Gordimer are (unless otherwise identified) from this book, published by Penguin Books).
Robin Wood’s essays in Film International 2003-07:
1. ‘Irreversible: Against and For’, 2003:5 (vol. 1, no. 5)
2. ‘Revenge is Sweet: The Bitterness of Audition‘, 2004:1 (vol. 2, no. 7)
3. ‘Claire Denis: Cinema of Transgression, Part 1′, 2004:3 (vol. 2, no. 9)
4. ‘Only (Dis)Connect and Never Relaxez-Vouz, Or I Can’t Sleep. Claire Denis: Cinema of Transgression, Part 2′, 2004:5 (vol. 2, no. 11)
5. ‘The Heroism of Disobediance and Deceit: Where is the Friend’s Home?‘, 2005:2 (vol. 3, no. 14)
6. ‘Exodus Collides with the Kedma‘, 2005:6 (vol. 3, no. 18)
7. ‘The Skull Beneath the Skin: Patrice Chéreau and Son Frère‘, 2006:3 (vol. 4, no. 21)
8. ‘Wild Reeds: A Film of the Past for Our Future’, 2006:5 (vol. 4, no. 23)
9. ‘From Ruggles to Rally; or, America! America! The Strange Career of Leo McCarey’, 2007.3 (vol. 5, no. 27)