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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.

When she embarked on a second career as a film director in the late 1960s, Marguerite Duras was already a well-known and highly acclaimed novelist and playwright who had published fourteen literary texts since her first novel Les Impudents (1943). What binds her fictional texts and her films together is that both are inhabited by the people, places and events of her life, as she remarked in an interview with

in Marguerite Duras
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Marguerite Duras was one of the great innovators of twentieth-century cinema and literature. Yet her films, even more so than her novels, have sometimes been criticised for being too abstract and intellectual, accessible only to a select group of initiates. Such criticism is quite unjustified, however, since her work reflects not only the passion and sadness of her personal experience, but also her deep

in Marguerite Duras
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Filming desire

deprivation and exile. The repeated verbal association between the cat and leprosy, furthermore, connects Aurélia Melbourne with India Song, as we are reminded of Calcutta and the starving beggarwoman from Savannakhet (Duras 1979 : 122, 124). Similarly, the theme of exile links Aurélia Steiner not only to Anne-Marie Stretter but ultimately also to Marguerite Duras herself. At the end of the film it is only when the cat dies

in Marguerite Duras

noted, because of the troubling effects of her films, critics have tended to dismiss them as artistic provocation, ‘alors que les films de Marguerite Duras sont toujours ouvertement politiques’ 1 (Prédal 1977 : 16). The political dimension of her work derived from her understanding that film, like literature, is inseparable from the society within which it is produced and that its representations of the world serve not merely to

in Marguerite Duras

, M . et al. ( 1979 ), Marguerite Duras, Paris , Editions Albatros . Duras , M . and Gauthier , X . ( 1974 ), Les Parleuses, Paris , Minuit . Duras , M . and Noguez , D . ( 1984 ), La Couleur des mots, interview, BAC. Hayward , S . ( 1993 ), French National Cinema, London , Routledge . Heathcote , O . ( 2000

in Marguerite Duras
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) 5 Despair: Michael Lonsdale as the vice-consul in India Song (1975) 6 Hot gossip: Marguerite Duras as the woman and Gérard Depardieu as the man in Le Camion (1977)

in Marguerite Duras

auteur tradition in French cinema, ‘a romantic tradition of humanist individualism which constitutes the bedrock of French critical approaches to film’ (Vincendeau 1987 : 7). Avant-garde auteurs : Marguerite Duras and Agnès Varda Two of the principal auteurs in French film since the 1960s, women whose idiosyncratic styles epitomise avant-garde auteur cinema, are Marguerite

in Contemporary French cinema
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-Claude Brisseau (Choses secrètes, 2002 and Les Anges exterminateurs, 2006).2 Moreover, Breillat has been a leading light among an ever-increasing number of French female directors who are using the medium of film to explore women’s desires. Continuing in the tradition of foremothers Agnès Varda and Marguerite Duras, Breillat’s films have an affinity with those of her contemporary cinematic sisters, including Claire Denis, Virginie Despentes, Danièle Dubroux, Jeanne Labrune and Brigitte Roüan. Without the inspirational example of Breillat’s courage (and international success

in Catherine Breillat

discuss Samuel Beckett’s Fin de partie (Endgame, 1957) and Happy Days (1961); Marguerite Duras’s Yes, peut-être (Yes, Maybe, 1968); and Edward Bond’s The Tin Can People (1984, the second part of his War Plays trilogy). The remainder of the chapter analyses two plays that evoke the Holocaust in an abstract fashion: Józef Szajna’s Replika (Replica, produced in various iterations from 1971 to 1988) and Howard Barker’s Found in the Ground (published in 2001 and produced in 2009). Some of these plays are not well known, though they are deserving of critical attention

in Death in modern theatre