Institute History

  • 2001 Sundance Film Festival


She comes to his bed-sit every Wednesday afternoon. They don't speak. They don't even know each other's name. But something passes between them as their bodies converge and passion ignites in the dim, carpeted silence of his basement bedroom. He has left his wife and family. Her story: a mystery, a puzzle waiting to be penetrated and unraveled. Their union: rife with longing and desire, an impermanent compulsion coiled in a fundamental need to reach out and connect with another person, another body.

An intensely passionate filmmaker who is no stranger to the milieu of love and relationships, Patrice Cheréau (Queen Margo) takes Hanif Kureishi's controversial fourth novel as the source for Intimacy, his first English-language production. In its darkened interior spaces, made all the more immediate by the gliding handheld movements of virtuoso cinematographer Eric Gautier (Pola X, Ceux Qui M'aiment Prendront le Train), Intimacy dramatizes our contemporary yet age-old preoccupation with the relationship between love and sexual fulfillment. But beyond its gorgeous production design and masterful direction, it is the unflinching courage of its peerless cast, most notably Mark Rylance (Angels and Insects), Kerry Fox (Shallow Grave), and Timothy Spall (Topsy Turvy), that distinguishes this remarkable drama.

A profound and erotic meditation on the impermanence of love and the destabilizing effects of desire, Intimacy is emotional viewing for anyone—particularly for the man or woman who has lived through the "terrible journey, a season in hell, and a reason for living" that Kureishi calls marriage.

— Rebecca Yeldham

Screening Details

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]