Susan Sontag

Susan Sontag – Promised Lands (1974)

A marked advance on Sontag’s first two films (Duet for Cannibals and Brother Carl) in terms of imagination and cogency, this personal essay about contemporary Israel reflects much of the same passion and intelligence to be found in her non-fictional prose. Addressing itself to tragic and contradictory elements in the state of Israel itself rather than a broader consideration of the Arab-Israeli conflict, it intermittently suggests the influence of Russian documentary film-maker Dziga Vertov in its use of sound and grasp of visual syntax. But while many of Vertov’s works are songs of celebration, Promised Lands – through statements by a novelist, physicist, psychiatrist, and a harrowing final sequence of a soldier being ‘treated’ for shock – is closer to the feeling of a scream. Like some of Sontag’s other work, it may suffer from an attraction to morbidity that detracts from a wholly lucid exposition. – Time Out Read More »

Susan Sontag – Bröder Carl (1971)

Two women, Karen (theatre director) and Lena, visit an island, a Swedish resort, where Lena’s ex-husband, Martin (choreographer), lives in comparative seclusion with a mentally disturbed ballet dancer named Carl. Carl is brother by guilt rather than blood, for Martin is somehow responsible for his breakdown. Read More »

Susan Sontag – Duett för kannibaler AKA Duet for Cannibals (1969)

The directorial debut of famed American writer, philosopher, and political activist Susan Sontag is an intriguing tale of two couples involved in academia and politics. Artur is a professor living in exile in Sweden with his enigmatic wife Francesca. He hires young Tomas to help prepare a compendium of his works, but Tomas soon suspects that there is an erotic side to his new assignment. New York Times critic Vincent Canby described Duet as “intriguing, surprising, witty and sinister to the end.” Read More »