category_outlined / Film, Télé et Musique
Little White LiesLittle White Lies

Little White Lies

Issue 79

The freshest and most credible voice in film, LWLies is the world's most stunning film source. Honest, unmerciful, relevant - and always beautiful.

United Kingdom
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6 Numéros


access_time5 min.
high life

Directed by CLAIRE DENISStarring ROBERT PATTINSON, JULIETTE BINOCHE, MIA GOTHReleased 10 MAYUsually, when describing a film, writers have access to the vocabulary that has formed around cinema in the 100 plus years since the birth of this relatively young medium. Clichés exist within storytelling and genres, meaning that there is a sense of familiarity as you sit back and sometimes strain to see originality, scanning the screen and peering between the lines for hits of freshness. In most cases, we bear witness to standard-issue machinery clanking its gears.High Life is the opposite of this, existing at such a cosmic remove from established cinematic grammar that one is almost aligned with the film’s baby character, Willow; confronted with a world of infinite strangeness, horror and beauty without recourse to a structure that gives a…

access_time10 min.
claire de lune

The British stand-up comedian Stewart Lee has a bit in which he grumbles that the internet has ruined record shopping. For him, it was all about the thrill of the chase. He cherished the romantic notion of rifling through the bins in some dusty store run by a cantankerous old git in the hope that a long yearned-for gem would suddenly present itself, like happening across buried treasure. Technology has made this journey feel less magical, as it’s now possible to tap the title of a record into a search engine and have it mailed to you overnight. It’s practical, yes, but you lose the feeling of having grappled for this art – of proffering some basic physical exertion that, in some miniscule way, might mirror the exertions the artist…

access_time1 min.
the sensual world

What is it that makes the films of Claire Denis so unique? Part of the magic is that it’s near impossible to second-guess her impulses as an artist. There’s an alchemy at work. She employs a formula so complex, that even if we uncovered it we likely wouldn’t be able to comprehend it. Yet one aspect does stand out, and that is her interest in using the camera to transmit tactile feeling, to stimulate the senses with her sublime audio visual offerings.Inspired by this observation, here are five essays, each filtering her work through one of the five senses: touch, taste, sound, smell and sight. Welcome to the sensual world of Claire Denis.…

access_time4 min.

One of the most common adjectives used to describe the work of Claire Denis is ‘tactile.’ Denis has crafted one of the most impressionistic filmographies in cinema, where everything from camera movement to colour timing conveys the perspective of the characters. She treats bodies as landscapes, rendering wrinkles and folds as topographies. She traces the pockmarks on, say, Vincent Lindon’s face or the blemishes on Michel Subor’s aged skin across multiple collaborations. Denis’ characters are forever attempting to connect with their surroundings and others. Even at their most loquacious, these people remain incapable of expressing themselves without fear, and many of their true feelings are communicated through physical interaction.Naturally, the emphasis on gestures and touch lends an erotic bent to much of Denis’ work. This is frequently explicit, as in…

access_time4 min.

The use of food metaphors to discuss cinematic pleasures in films directed by women is a common but tragic affiction within film criticism. A dynamic performance is ‘spicy’; a tender sex scene ‘sweet like honey’; a comedic moment functions like a great ‘palate cleanser’. Besides the undeniably sexist overtones of a vocabulary that forces women back into the kitchen, this tendency is also plainly, and ironically, gross. I have never been tempted to watch a film that had ‘an unctuous core’ or was made ‘for the sweet-toothed.’ The films of Claire Denis resist such reductive language – not because taste isn’t a key element in her oeuvre but rather, because it is central to it. The French director’s filmmaking is so deeply haptic, so devoted to transmitting bodily sensation, that…

access_time4 min.

Claire Denis films sound like Stuart Staples and Tindersticks. Yearning, haunting ambiguous strains are just part of the universe she has created. They all met at La Bataclan in Paris in 1995. Denis went backstage after a Tindersticks gig to seek permission to use one track, ‘Tiny Tears’, on Nenette and Boni. Per Staples, the band “always had soundtrack pretensions” so he suggested that instead of giving her one song that they make an original score. Fast-forward 23 years and either as solo artist or with Tindersticks, Staples has composed music for eight of her films. We spoke with the Nottingham-expat now living in France.On the different articulation processes needed for musicians and filmmakers.Staples: “It’s hard for musicians to talk about music because you can walk up to something and…