Marguerite Duras – L’homme atlantique (1981)


“In this avant-garde short, Duras uses outtakes from Agatha et les lectures illimitées, removing Agatha and leaving only the voice and likeness of her brother (Yann Andréa). Duras scholar Leslie Hill contends that for the first time in her work, “the gap between image and sound is now aligned with the fissure of sexual difference itself.”” ( Continue reading

Marguerite Duras – Jaune le soleil (1971)


Adapted from Duras’ Abahn Sabana David.

Jaune le soleil est un film de Marguerite Duras sorti en 1972, adapté de son roman Abahn Sabana David.

Tout le film se passe dans une seule pièce où sont réunis les représentants des deux forces politiques et leur ennemi “le juif”. Un personnage féminin établit le dialogue entre ces individus et commente l’idéologie de chacun ; ceci jusqu’à la scène finale où chacun semble se rallier à une idée commune.

Note de tournage :
“Il faudrait que le film donne l’impression d’avoir été tourné sans électricité, que tout effet de lumière en soit complètement banni. Que tout le film baigne dans une lumière uniforme qui n’avantage aucun personnage. Que ce soit la même lumière pour tous. C’est un film sur la parole, l’image ici sert à porter la parole. .(…) Ici c’est la parole qui tient lieu de contact corporel, ainsi que les bruits, les cris des chiens, le bruit des mots….” Cahiers du cinéma n° 400 Octobre 1987 Continue reading

Marguerite Duras – Le camion AKA The Lorry AKA The Truck [+Extra] (1977)


We are confronted with two images, a lorry driving through the night until dawn, a depiction of the loneliness and determination of the long-distance driver, and, intercut with it, an all-night conversation between Marguerite Duras herself and her young collaborator and lover, who are writing the script together, imagining the lorry- driver and discussing the emotions they are trying to depict and their method in doing so. Two frustrations, that of their creative imaginations, and the that of the driver they are depicting, become identified. Continue reading

Marguerite Duras – Des journées entières dans les arbres aka Entire Days in the Trees (1977)


A woman whose son has been estranged from her for years travels to visit him in Paris. Despite offers of money and position, he would prefer to remain a petty thief, gigolo, and paid dancer rather than have anything to do with his mother. She has factories in Indochina which, despite political reverses, still run under her direction, and they could have been put under his control. The lad is happy enough to steal the jewels and money she has left lying around for just that purpose, knowing that he is too proud to accept gifts. His unhappy childhood in Indochina has left him too bitter to be approached.

Based on her novel and prior to directing a film version of the novel, Duras had already modified it into a stageplay that had enjoyed a theatrical run. Continue reading

Marguerite Duras – Détruire dit-elle AKA Destroy, She Said (1969)


“Marguerite Duras’ Destroy, She Said seems to be a film out of time and out of space, but could only have been made after May, 1968 … Significantly, it is only this year that she has felt able to write and direct her own film-without any compromises … It explodes into life, and one is hypnotically captive until the end. The dramatic power of the film, and its way of haunting one for days, are not surprising; what is, however, is the degree of visual virtuosity that Mme. Duras achieves. In short, here is a ‘difficult’ film which more than compensates for the demands it makes on the viewer.”-Richard Roud, The Guardian (Manchester)
” …Destroy. She Said is a triumph … In my estimation its glum enchantments constitute a masterpiece.”-Elliott Stein, The Financial Times (London) Continue reading

Marguerite Duras – India Song (1975)


AMG Review: When Anne-Marie (Delphine Seyrig), the wife of the French vice-consul, grows weary of her oppressive life in 1930s India, she compulsively makes love so as to forget her situation. Her husband (Michel Lonsdale) is aware of her affairs but understands the cause of them and affects not to notice. Curiously, the mansion—so strongly evocative of India—where most of the movie was filmed, was just outside of Paris — Clarke Fountain Continue reading

Marguerite Duras – La femme du Gange aka Woman of the Ganges (1974)


A man returns to the place he once lived a passionate love affair with a woman who is now dead.  So powerful are the emotions that seize him that he imagines she is still alive, and begins to live as if this were the case…

“Woman of the Ganges” is in a way two films. Parallel to the film is played out a purely vocal film, unaccompanied by images.
To avoid any contempt, we would like to let the spectator know that the two Voices Off of women do not belong at all to the characters which appear in the images.
We can add that the characters seen in the images are entirely unaware of the existence of the two women in the story who manifest themselves only in the dialogue which they hold. Continue reading