Welcome to
Golden Age Cinema and Bar
Established MMXIII

Paramount House
80 Commonwealth Street
Surry Hills, Sydney

Beau Travail


Presented by VIVID x Golden Age of Humanity guest curator Bernard Collaery

Tickets not available

Sorry we couldn’t find any sessions for this event.

If you think this might be a mistake please contact us.


With her ravishingly sensual take on Herman Melville’s Billy Budd, Sailor, Claire Denis firmly established herself as one of the great visual poets of our time. Amid the azure waters and sunbaked desert landscapes of Djibouti, a French Foreign Legion sergeant (Denis Lavant) sows the seeds of his own ruin as his obsession with a striking young recruit (Grégoire Colin) plays out to the thunderous, operatic strains of Benjamin Britten. Denis and cinematographer Agnès Godard fold military and masculine codes of honour, colonialism’s legacy, destructive jealousy and repressed desire into shimmering, hypnotic images that ultimately explode in one of the most startling and unforgettable endings in all of modern cinema.

About the Curator: Bernard Collaery is an esteemed Australian solicitor and barrister known for his advocacy in catastrophic personal industry cases and human rights. He represented families in major tragedies, including the Thredbo landslide and the Glenbrook rail disaster. As the Attorney-General for the Australian Capital Territory, he introduced significant human rights legislation. Collaery provided legal counsel to the East Timor Resistance for over three decades and faced charges in 2018 under the Intelligence Services Act, linked to allegations of ASIS bugging the East Timorese government. Although the charges were dropped in 2022, restrictions on discussing the case persist. Collaery continues to support Indigenous Australians and marginalised communities and is the author of Oil Under Troubled Water. His second book, The Trial is due to be released later this year.

Why See This Film

Beau Travail came in at #7 in the 2022 Sight & Sound poll, up from #78 in 2012. This made us incredibly happy, as it’s one of our all-time favourites, too. A film of both great beauty and intellectual rigour, it’s one of the most fascinating studies of masculinity ever caught on film, showing how the grinding monotony of militarism crushes desire and individuality alike. It’s worth the price of admission for Denis Lavant’s intensely physical, supremely committed performance alone, along with arguably one of the greatest endings of all time.

Claire Denis
Denis Lavant, Michel Subor, Grégoire Colin
92 minutes
Russian, Italian, French

You might also like

“The good old days are now”
Sign up for the Golden Age newsletter