Beginning in the mid 90s, the New French Extremity Movement was gaining momentum that the world could not ignore. A number of transgressive French directors were presenting bold, uncompromised visions that reflected the growing and complicated fears and anxieties of the culture. One of the earlier pieces to plant the flag for this movement was Claire Denis’ troubled romance in ‘Trouble Every Day’.
‘Trouble Every Day’ is the story of American newly wed couple Shane & June (Vincent Gallo & Tricia Vessey), who visit Paris for their Honeymoon. However, Shane is constantly trying to sneak away to find two things: 1.) his long, lost love Coré (played by the always amazing & terrifying Beatrice Dalle), and 2.) an off-the-books laboratory from their past who owe him some answers. We evenly spend time between the 3 characters, feeling the complicated emotions of the one whose completely in the dark, and learning vicariously through the other 2 as they search for answers and each other.
This movie is more of a ruthlessly aggressive and hopeless drama, rather than an active horror film. It is absolutely horrific and contains some extremely graphic violence, but is mostly centered around the heart and disappointment of the couples within it. In a matter of minutes it is able to build you up, tear you down, spit in your face, and rip your heart out. It doesn’t hold back and it intends to not let you leave in one piece.
While it doesn’t have a LOT of violence, the stuff that does exist within it are extremely gory, painful to watch, uncomfortable, and over-the-top. There are two specific scenes that I have been unable to scrub from my memory in the last few months since I’ve seen this. It really… goes there… while the lavishly orchestrated music sweeps, the blood gushes, the ambient noises and screams of pain overwhelm your senses, and the always-seeing camera-eye refuses to shy away or even blink for a minute.
Director Claire Denis is also one of the most notorious female directors for having a reputation of being overwhelmingly terrifying and shutting down most journalists and interviewers who try to get a few minutes with her. Her energy is said to be just that powerful and demanding, and I think it’s blatant to see that energy and swagger permeating into this work of art. The menacing heart underneath a film about failing romance is overwhelmingly bleak and pessimistic.
It’s a traumatizing film that doesn’t hold back on forcing you to feel certain emotions or certain phantom-limb-styled injuries. It’s truly one hell of a great film.
“Trouble Every Day” is currently streaming on The Roku Channel & Amazon Prime.
‘Til Next Time,