35 Shots of Rum, dir. Claire Denis, France 2008, 102 min., French with English subtitles
French auteur Claire Denis’ 35 Shots of Rum is a beautifully observed and emotionally vibrant film about a relationship between a father and daughter.
Widowed train driver Lionel lives a modest life on the outskirts of Paris with his daughter Joséphine, a university student. As the mutually devoted pair navigate various love interests and the ebb and flow of daily life, they gradually begin to recognise that they must find some form of independence from one another, despite their profound bond.
35 Shots of Rum, which premiered to critical acclaim at the Venice Film Festival 2008, is reminiscent of Denis’ earlier work Beau Travail and Vendredi Soir in its poetic and impressionistic portrait of a place and close-knit community. Denis’ regular cinematographer Agnès Godard brings masterfully shot images, accompanied by an evocative score by fellow long-term artistic collaborators The Tindersticks.