Screened as part of NZIFF 2002

Trouble Every Day 2001

Directed by Claire Denis

France In English and French with English subtitles
102 minutes 35mm



Georges Benayoun
Jean-Michel Rey
Philippe Liégeois


Jean-Pol Fargeau
Claire Denis


Agnès Godard


Nelly Quettier




Vincent Gallo (Shane)
Tricia Vessey (June)
Béatrice Dalle (Coré)
Alex Descas (Léo)
Florence Loiret-Caille (Christelle)
Nicolas Duvauchelle (Erwan)
Raphaël Neal (Ludo)
Jose Garcia (Choart)
Hélène Lapiower (Malécot)
Marilu Marini (Friessen)
Aurore Clément (Jeanne)


Cannes, Edinburgh, Toronto 2001; Rotterdam 2002


The pain of the unquenchable blood lusters is more excruciating than the pain of the unwilling blood donors in Claire Denis’ perverse ‘Sympathy for the Vampire’ – which is not to say that the victims do not scream or shriek. A stubbled, zomboid Vincent Gallo, stupefied by the torments of repression, plays a Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde honeymooning in Paris with an implausibly prim and pastel-suited Tricia Vessey. Knowing well where his appetites can lead him, he recoils from the marriage bed, but is drawn into the orbit of a disgraced former medical colleague whose partner, a feral Béatrice Dalle, lures men to her apartment for sex, then eats them and splatters the walls with their blood. Denis, whose last film Beau travail is justly considered a masterpiece of sensual, stream-of-consciousness filmmaking, increasingly favours sensation and intuition over narrative in fashioning her work. The effect is especially disorienting when applied to material we usually see plotted, ritualistically, towards catharsis. No one gets off the hook here and Denis’ film, considered an absurd misstep by many of her admirers and an absurd triumph by others, seems intended to mesmerise the viewer with the grisly ebb and flow of lust and horror, addiction and revulsion, gratification and withdrawal. The title comes from a Frank Zappa song, but it’s British band Tindersticks who provide the year’s most hair-raisingly apt film music, an exquisite, insistent work of keening loneliness and morbid romanticism. — Bill Gosden 

"One might reasonably have expected blood to ooze from a turnip before Claire Denis, director of the exquisite Beau travail and one of turn-of-the-century French cinema’s most sensual filmmakers, would turn her hand to splatterpunk, but in the new Trouble Every Day, turn she does – with a gnashing, slurping vengeance. A study of sexual carnivores painted in woodchipper chunks of gristly red and organ black, the film stars a wooden Vincent Gallo bumbling through a bleak Paris in search of his ex-lover/ex-guinea pig, played by Beatrice Dalle, who has become some sort of flesh-eating fuck-fiend. Co-written by Denis and Jean-Pol Fargeau… this paean to all-consuming passion is a jumble of stunning shocks, not the least of which finds Gallo frenziedly producing a rope of ejaculate long enough to use at a rodeo. Denis’ darkest film since I Can’t Sleep – and one of her funniest." — Chuck Stephens, San Francisco Bay Guardian 

I didn’t find this film funny at all. — Matthew Donaldson