Claire Denis's films have long been associated with enveloping moods. This essay focuses on how atmospheres in her film, 35 Shots of Rum (35 Rhums, France/Germany, 2008), possess a unique conceptual valence within her work. As a “rethinking” of Yasujirō Ozu's Late Spring (Banshun, Japan, 1949), the film's narrative premise traces the strong bond between a widower and his adult daughter. Most critical assessments of the film thus interpret 35 Shots of Rum as an homage to Ozu, seeing the daughter's love for her father as a reflection of Denis's devotion to the Japanese director. However, this essay moves beyond a cursory reading of Denis's film as a celebration of paternal legacies, arguing that its atmospheric textures—the phantasmatic movement of its intertexts, the resonance of its rhythmic editing, or the vague force of its enigmatic gestures—express a critique of gendered and neocolonial norms determining recognition and value within world cinema. Atmosphere also thematizes that which resists full disclosure, such as the unrealized but looming possibility of incestuous desire haunting Late Spring and Denis's oeuvre. Incest's equivocal, ambiguous, but potentially felt presence in 35 Shots also extends to multiple extradiegetic allusions the film pursues with a casual commitment—what this article calls the film's loitering cadence—an endless flirtation with various artistic forefathers that undermines patrilinear genealogy as a unified or coherent origin. Through these critical coordinates, 35 Shots of Rum emerges as a cartography for imagining alternative modes of transnational circulation and descent in world cinema.

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