Nathalie Granger

A neglected early feature by Marguerite Duras, Nathalie Granger is full of poker-faced, absurdist humour and deceptive sound cues. Jeanne Moreau and Lucia Bose sit around in a country house doing very little apart from listening to radio reports about two teenage killers in the
neighbourhood. Occasionally they’re joined by their two little girls (one of them named Nathalie Granger); more often we’re reminded of them by the off-screen sound of their piano lessons. On two occasions, a very young Gerard Depardieu turns up, trying to sell a washing machine and
getting more than he bargains for. Made at the height of the women’s movement and the emergence of a new counter-cinema, Duras’ beautiful miniature goes against the grain of traditional cinematic representations of women by focusing on the repetitive and mundane aspects of their lives. Similar in many ways to Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielmann, Nathalie Granger reflects the experimental and innovative qualities of French feminist filmmaking in the 1970s.
France, 1972. English subtitles. Black and white. 83 mins.

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