Good evening, ladies and gentlemen
William S. Burroughs once famously wrote:
“After one look at this planet
any visitor from outer space would say
'I want to see the manager.”
If we look at the state of things
on this planet today,
Burroughs’ line has lost nothing of it’s punch
but really Mr. Burroughs
what’s the use to speak to the manager?
If you don’t want to hear excuses,
if you really want to know what time it is,
if you want to know
whatever holds the world together in its inmost folds
the visitor from outer space
should go to the movies instead
and see Claire Denis’ films
and you should, too.
I will tell you why:
To learn about beauty.
'But what is beauty?' the visitor from outer space might ask.
Does it even matter in light of all this violence and ugliness?
I will try to give you a simple answer.
(I have been told I have five minutes)
Beauty is a conspiracy.
It goes beyond reason.
We don’t know why we know
that something is beautiful.
We just know.
Beauty seduces us to attention
for the fragility of life
it seduces us to tenderness.
Beauty is not pretty.
There is beauty in danger and
there is danger in beauty
and that’s what Claires films are all about for me.
to walk on the wild side of
in order to see
beauty in danger and
danger in beauty,
the ambivalence of our existence.