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You, Me, & Denis: Binoche & Depardieu Up for “Les Lunettes Noir”

In October of 2016, French actress Juliette Binoche revealed several new projects while being interviewed in Hungary, one of which she cited as a project with director Claire Denis, who has apparently adapted her own version of Roland Barthes’ A Lover’s Discourse. Since late 2015, plans for Denis to embark on her first English language feature, High Life, an ambitious sci-fi film starring Robert Pattinson and written by novelist Zadie Smith and Nick Laird, has been reported with a possible release date of 2018. Meanwhile, Denis went ahead and secured funding from the CNC for Les Lunettes Noir (Black Glasses) last July, and according to several French news sites, such as Limousin, this same project starring Binoche and Gerard Depardieu is seeking extras for two days of shooting near Creuse in January.

Gist: The 1977 novel by Barthes is described as a list of “fragments,” some from literature and some original concerning a lover’s perspective. The material was previously adapted into a 2010 film called Lover’s Discourse set in Hong Kong from directors Derek Tsang and Jimmy Wan.

Worth Noting: Binoche can add this to a list of high profile femme-centric projects she’s recently become involved with, including Maya, the next film from Mia Hansen-Love, as well as a producer on a new film with Malgorzata Szumowska (after having starred in her 2011 film Elles). What’s more significant here is the addition of Gerard Depardieu to the cast, who famously made unmitigated disparaging comments about Binoche several years ago. Also, the project will be part of our upcoming list of most anticipated films projects in 2018, which will be unveiled in early January.

Do We Care?: Anytime Claire Denis has a new film is cause for pause. Usually taking several years between projects as of late (her last film was 2013’s Bastards), we’re thrilled to see her potentially unveil two new titles over the course of a year. Although High Life was supposed to have gone into production first, it would seem Black Glasses might be the first to reach post—although whether Denis plans on unveiling in 2017 or holding off for a double feature in 2018 is yet to be seen.

Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2021: France (Bruno Dumont), Passing (Rebecca Hall) and Nightmare Alley (Guillermo Del Toro). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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