The charismatic, striking-looking Gragoire Colin showed off his glistening torso as a French legionnaire in Claire Denis's Beau Travail. But he's practically unrecognizable as Noe, the second lead in Denis's intimate 35 rhums (2008), part of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston's Contemporary World Cinema film series. Noe is a mysterious sort-of boyfriend to Jo, played by lovely newcomer Mati Diop, and a potential rival to her dad, who's portrayed by the fascinating Alex Descas (a Denis regular). As with all Denis's atmospheric work, this non-flashy father/daughter story digs deeper than your typical familial tale. While each of her films is different in tone and technique, Denis's dialogue is uniformly sparse, her visuals lush and static. Stephanie Zacharek of salon.com captured rhums's cinematic idiosyncrasy when she called it "an intimate movie about the pleasures of home - and knowing when to leave it." 7:30 p.m. Friday, 7 p.m. Saturday, and 5 p.m. Sunday. 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-639-7515 or visit www.mfah.org/films. $6 to $7.
Fri., Nov. 20, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Nov. 21, 7 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 22, 5 p.m., 2009