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In: Neo-Baroques
In: Neo-Baroques


Adapted from philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy’s semi-autobiographical text, The Intruder remains one of French director Claire Denis’ most transnational and yet dreamlike works. In this article, I pair philosopher Gaston Bachelard (in particular, his concept of the material and dynamic imagination and his reveries on water and air) with Denis to explore how The Intruder enacts an imagining of the elements and an elemental poetics of film form. Bringing Bachelard into a dialogue with Saad Chakali’s, Rosalind Galt’s and Nancy’s writing on the film’s imagery, I also approach The Intruder as an image-poem that is structured by poetically ‘weighted’ images and by recurrent symbolism. Shot through with an oneiric sense of drift, voyaging and diffusion, I explore some of the ways that Denis’s elemental imaginings of air and oceanic water reflect an affective politics.

Open Access
In: Studies in World Cinema