Parisian director Claire Denis’ films scrutinize human behavior like few others can. And for this, she is one of the best filmmakers working today. In her impressive body of work, Denis often works beyond the canvas of the frame by highlighting the unseen noises and voices coming from outside the camera's field of view. The texture of the sound design adds size to empty rooms and fleshes out the intimacy between her characters. This video essay scrutinizes how Denis uses sound in her movies, from her debut feature, Chocolat (1988—not to be confused with the film from 2000 of the same name starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp), to her latest, Let the Sunshine In (2017).

Like what you hear? Don’t miss our other aural explorations into the sounds of directors Andrei Tarkovsky, Agnès Varda, Guillermo del Toro, Clint Eastwood, and Wes Anderson!