Stephanie LaCava presents: Marguerite Duras's Nathalie Granger (1972)
A rare 16mm screening of Marguerite Duras's fourth feature, starring Jeanne Moreau and Gérard Depardieu.
Mar 23, 2022, 7:30 PM
Los Angeles, 2220 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90057, USA
directed by Marguerite Duras
1972, France, 83m, 16mm
Introduced by writer Stephanie LaCava (I Fear My Pain Interests You)
A major literary figure in 20th-century France, Marguerite Duras was also one of the most original filmmakers of her day, responsible for a trailblazing body of work that is still neglected in the U.S. Nominally associated with the so-called Left Bank film movement, Duras’ films can be seen as part of a broader trend of artistic eclecticism in cinema which, per Claire Clouzot, was more concerned with “the flow of mental processes, rather than cinephilic fanaticism…an interest in filmic writing, and the relations this might have with literary production.” We are excited to host a rare screening of Duras's fourth feature, among her most accessible and piercing films—a wry black-and-white minimalist portrait of female domestic ritual and torpor, predating Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles by several years but sharing a deft formal elasticity. In a country house, Jeanne Moreau and Lucia Bosè sit and wait for their daughters to return home, only to be visited by a bumbling salesman (Gérard Depardieu) who seems unable to leave. In French with English subtitles.
Imported 16mm print!
“A neglected early feature by Marguerite Duras, produced by Luc Moullet, full of poker-faced, absurdist humor and deceptive sound cues…It’s hard to describe this beautiful miniature, but somehow it reduces the whole modern world to audiovisual shorthand; Duras’ verbal and visual terseness has seldom been put to better use.” -Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"In my view, the cinema was built on the defeat of the written word. Its crucial and decisive attraction lies in this massacre. Because this massacre is precisely the bridge that takes you to the very place of all reading. And still further: to the very place of subjection full stop, which suggests all existence experienced in current society. One could put it another way: that youth's almost universal choice of the cinema is a choice – conscious or intuitive – of a political kind. That wanting to make films means precisely wanting to go straight to the place of one's subjection: the viewer. And doing this by avoiding – by destroying – the always privileged stage of writing." -Marguerite Duras
Special thanks to Lise de Sablet (Villa Albertine), Jameson West (Projections LA), Doc Films and Institut Français.
Stephanie LaCava is a writer based in New York City. Her debut novel The Superrationals was published by Semiotext(e) in 2020. I Fear My Pain Interests You is forthcoming from Verso this September. She is the founder and publisher of Small Press books, which will release an English translation of counterculture actor/filmmaker Pierre Clementi’s memoir and prison journals: Quelques messages personnels, this fall. (Translated by Claire Foster.)