Claire Denis Teams Up with Juliette Binoche and Gérard Depardieu for Barthes Adaptation

By  · Published on January 6th, 2017

The French cinema legends will work together this year on Denis’ latest film

Earlier this week, The Film Stage reported that legendary French director Claire Denis will begin shooting a new film, titled Dark Glasses (Les nunettes noir), and it will star Juliette Binoche and Gerard Dépardieu. The film will be based on Roland Barthes’ book A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments, which was previously adapted as Lover’s Discourse in 2010 by Cantonese directors Derek Tsang and Jimmy Wan.

The Film Stage previously reported that Denis’ next film (following her incredible 2013 noir-esque Bastards) was going to be a sci-fi entitled High Life, starring Robert Pattinson, Patricia Arquette, and Mia Goth. TFS reported that filming was to begin in spring 2016, but it now appears that this project has been pushed back to make way for Dark Glasses, which begins shooting this month in Paris and Guéret in central France.

The description for Barthes’ book is as follows:

A Lover’s Discourse, at its 1978 publication, was revolutionary: Roland Barthes made unprecedented use of the tools of structuralism to explore the whimsical phenomenon of love. Rich with references ranging from Goethe’s Werther to Winnicott, from Plato to Proust, from Baudelaire to Schubert, A Lover’s Discourse artfully draws a portrait in which every reader will find echoes of themselves.

There may not be anyone better suited to adapt the complex and philosophical work of Roland Barthes than Claire Denis. If you have studied cinema in school, then you most likely are familiar with Barthes’ dense theories about how images work and convey information. Denis is one of the most talented and unique voices in French cinema, consistently creating unforgettable images, sounds, characters, and stories. There is no doubt that Denis’ adaptation of Barthes will eventually lead to many film school essays. Her previous works include 1988’s Chocolat (no, not the one with Juliette Binoche…), Beau Travail, Trouble Every Day, and 35 Rhums.

This announcement is also exciting because Juliette Binoche and Gérard Depardieu are incredible actors who have worked with a vast array of filmmakers over the years. Binoche has worked with Jean-Luc Godard (Hail Mary), Louis Malle (Damage), Krysztof Kieślowski (Trois couleurs: Bleu), Chantal Akerman (A Couch in New York), and Abbas Kiarostami (Certified Copy). Binoche is a versatile and intelligent actress, who excels in any film she is cast in. It only makes sense that she works with Denis next. Depardieu has also worked with his fair share of amazing auteurs, including Alain Resnais (Stavisky), Bernardo Bertolucci (1900), François Truffaut (The Last Metro), and more recently, Ang Lee (Life of Pi).

Dark Glasses may end up being one of the best art-house releases of 2017, and hopefully it will be finished in time to premiere at some of the big fall film festivals.

Actual film school graduate from Toronto. Always thinking and writing about queerness, feminism, camp, melodrama, and popular culture.