Abstract only

Marguerite Duras embarked on a second career as a film director in the late 1960s; by then was already a well-known and highly acclaimed novelist and playwright. Bearing in mind this dual influence, this book presents an outline of Duras's early life and of her later political preoccupations, highlighting the relationship between these two dimensions and her films. Duras's aim was to transcend the limitations of both literature and cinema by creating an écriture filmique. Working within the 1970s French avant-garde, Marguerite Duras set out to dismantle the mechanisms of mainstream cinema, progressively undermining conventional representation and narrative and replacing them with her own innovative technique. The making of Nathalie Granger in 1972 coincided with the period of intense political activity and lively theoretical debates, which marked the early years of the post-1968 French feminist movement. India Song questions the categories of gender and sexuality constructed by the patriarchal Symbolic order by foregrounding the Imaginary. Agatha mirrors transgressive relationship and quasi-incestuous adolescent relationship, as the film resonates with the off-screen voices of Duras and Yann Andréa who also appears on the image-track where he represents Agatha's anonymous brother. Her work, both in literature and in film, distinguishes itself by its oblique, elusive quality which evokes her protagonists' inner landscape instead of dwelling on the appearances of the external world.

Abstract only
Filming desire

her texts on to the filmic image. One of the striking features of Duras’s shots, particularly in India Song, is their length and the predominance of fixed frames over tracking shots. Because of their sparsity and static quality, these images are reminiscent of photographs or paintings, unlike the clutter of moving pictures in mainstream cinema which Duras described as ‘suffocating’ (Duras and Gauthier 1974 : 87). Like her words, Duras’s images

in Marguerite Duras

latter also shows a certain progression towards the deconstruction of gendered identities in India Song and, even more prominently, in Agatha. The preoccupation in Duras with questions of gender and sexuality may be usefully theorised by drawing on ideas central to feminist psychoanalysis. Although both feminism and psychoanalysis have lost the central position they occupied among the various approaches to film studies

in Marguerite Duras
Abstract only

) 3 A stroll in the park: Didier Flamand as the young guest, Delphine Seyrig as Anne-Marie Stretter and Claude Mann as Michael Richardson in India Song (1975) 4 Two’s company . . . : Delphine Seyrig, Claude Mann and Didier Flamand in India Song (1975

in Marguerite Duras

India Song (1975). This female protagonist plays such a crucial role in the work of Duras that it is worth examining her origins in Duras’s childhood and the reasons for her prominence in some of the novels and films of the 1960s and 1970s. Anne-Marie Stretter is a composite fictional construct inspired by Elisabeth Striedter, a wealthy woman of Swiss origin, whose husband was the general administrator of the province of Chau

in Marguerite Duras

Duras and Agnès Varda. India Song and ‘the vanity of cinema’ For Marguerite Duras, literature and cinema are inseparable. The auteurist conception of film as a form of writing is taken to an extreme in her career – which spans thirty years and features novels, plays, and over a dozen films – and in her statements on cinema: each of her films is ‘un livre sur de la

in Contemporary French cinema
Open Access (free)
Theoretical debates and the critical erasure of Beckett’s cinema

have made their way on to celluloid, as is the case for Film? And is this not due, among other reasons, to the fact that literature departments (English, French, general, comparative) are at present, in the research institution that is the university, more numerous than cinema departments? Let us attempt to reply to these objections by briefly citing some comparable examples of ‘literary’ films from the same period. For India Song (1973), there 168 Beckett and nothing are around 35 entries on the MLA bibliography and about the same number in the FIAF database

in Beckett and nothing
Abstract only

Dielmann , 23 Quai de commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (Akerman 1974) and India Song (Duras 1975) while Yannick Bellon’s work had brought feminist issues to the fore in more accessible films like La Femme de Jean (1974). In 1977, the same year as Diabolo menthe , Agnès Varda released her most overtly feminist film, L’Une chante, L’autre pas , centred on friendship between women, and Coline Serreau’s career as a director of

in Diane Kurys
The short films (2010–11)

shared concern with fluid ontologies and becom­ ings, where the formlessness of water is suggestive of an opposition to established forms, recalling the meanings often assigned to water in myth.1 In Cinema 2, Deleuze observes the ‘liquid quality which […] marks the visual image in Marguerite Duras’, a quality which he sees in ‘the tropical Indian humidity which rises from the river, but which spreads out on the beach and in the sea as well [in India Song]’ and in ‘the dampness of Normandy which already drew Le camion from the Beauce to the sea […]’ (1989, 248). Such

in The cinema of Lucrecia Martel

telle population coloniale réunie dans un seul endroit. L’amour, c’est à eux qu’il s’adresse’ 34 (Duras 1996 : 125). This link between colonial Indochina and contemporary France also evokes the image of the beggars and lepers in India Song and Son nom de Venise who, like the immigrants of the 1970s, lived on the edges of an affluent white society. The material wealth and cultural hegemony of this society is signalled by

in Marguerite Duras