As visually beautiful as it is structurally surreal, Claire Denis’ take on the French Legionnaires is infused with masculine sexual tension. Beau travail exploits the austere East African landscape as a stage for a standoff between a young recruit (Grégoire Colin) and his sociopathic sergeant (Denis Lavant), both vying for their commanding officer’s attention. A variant on Herman Melville’s Billy Budd, this mesmerizing film is one of Denis’ most critically acclaimed: “tactile in its cinematography, inventive in its camera placement, and sensuous in its editing” (Village Voice). In French with English subtitles. 1999, 35mm, 90 minutes.