Nathalie Granger

A neglected early feature by Marguerite Duras (1972), produced by Luc Moullet, full of poker-faced, absurdist humor 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 neighborhood. Occasionally they’re joined by their two little girls (one of them named Nathalie Granger); more often we’re reminded of them by the offscreen 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. 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. (JR)

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