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Abstract

As with most directors whose careers began with (and consisted of) the process of filmmaking with actual celluloid, it was only a matter of time before French auteur Claire Denis made the transition to digital – and it was in 2013 that she did just that, abandoning physical film in favor of digital cinema for her neo-noir feature Bastards. The decision to switch wasn’t reluctant, though, as Denis had expressed an interest in experimenting with the format on her previous film White Material (2009). This aesthetic receptiveness is evident in Bastards, as it illustrates Denis’ effort to go beyond mere use and craft a film whose nature as a digital work is directly embedded into its neo-noir narrative. She accomplishes this through both a genre-oriented utilization of digital cinematography and by ending the movie with a formal rupture that re-contextualizes the digital nature of the film.

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