Exceeding the Limits of Representation. Screen and/as Skin in Claire Denis’ "Trouble Every Day".

Sebastian Scholz*, Hanna Surma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Claire Denis’ film Trouble Every Day exceeds the limits of cinematic representation by fundamentally questioning the concept of representation itself, thus evoking the unrepresentable. This paradoxical evocation of the unrepresentable in a medium of representation is not being done by means of pre- or extra-filmic intellectual discourse, but takes place in each and every frame of the film. The medium in which the passage beyond representation is taken is the skin – the skin of the characters, the sin of the spectators, and the
skin of the film.
This article focuses on these different concepts of (or approaches to) skin by exploring the relation between skin and film, the role of skin as medium and the question of screen becoming skin. The notion of skin as medium or screen as skin differs from Laura U. Marks’ concept of ‘haptic visuality’; in the case of Trouble Every Day‚ the whole film is made on skin’ (Nancy). Denis’s Trouble Every Day calls for an approach that does not focus
on the embodiment of memories (of images, things, touch and senses) that is central to Marks’s study, but one that confronts the film’s questioning of visual representation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-16
Number of pages11
JournalStudies in French Cinema
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Trouble Every Day – Claire Denis – Haptics – Visual Representation – Skin/Screen


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