"In the Words of Duras" Marguerite Duras Festival

In the Words of Duras: Marguerite Duras Festival is a celebration of the works of Marguerite Duras, France’s well-known author, playwright and film director, during a multidisciplinary festival in New York City from February 18 to March 18, 2010 at Anthology Film Archives, the Baryshnikov Arts Center and the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF).  

Known for her evocative and experimental free-flowing style, Marguerite Duras revolutionized the form of the twentieth century novel, and her innovations also carried to the screen and stage.

At the initiative of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, the festival showcases Duras’s wide range of talents, from her award-winning literary works to her ground-breaking movies and plays. A unique photo exhibit at the French Cultural Services also gives the public a rare glimpse of her personal life.

The festival includes performances based on Duras’s writings by several female directors.

The Baryshnikov Arts Center will stage Christine Letailleur’s theatrical version of Hiroshima mon amour, the celebrated New Wave movie by Alain Resnais, whose screenplay was written by Duras.

The French Institute Alliance Française will present two performances:

Diptych: The Lover and La Musica Deuxième, directed by Astrid Bas, a unique theatrical event pairing a staged and set-to-music adaptation of Duras’s prize-winning autobiographical novel The Lover (1984) with her play La Musica Deuxième (1985).

La Vie matérielle by Irina Brook is inspired by Duras’s collection of free-ranging essays La Vie matérielle and Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own. Taken together, they shed light on femininity and women’s roles in society.

Many readings and lectures are being presented during this tribute.

A month-long photography exhibit at the French Cultural Services’ Payne Whitney Mansion will reveal a more intimate side of Marguerite Duras. Photographer Hélène Bamberger, who works for such well-known publications as Time, Elle, Le Figaro, and Der Spiegel, chronicled her summers with Marguerite Duras in Trouville, Normandy, from 1980 to 1994. The pictures, depicting the author’s haunts, her worktable, her room, her lover Yann Andréa, and Marguerite Duras herself, offer a poignant glimpse into her private life.

The month-long festival concludes with a series at Anthology Film Archives, Marguerite Duras on Film (March 12-18). As well as having her work repeatedly adapted for the screen by others, Duras wrote original scripts for various filmmakers (most notably Alain Resnais and Georges Franju), before embarking on her own directorial career in 1967. Over the next seventeen years, she directed 14 feature films of her own (as well as numerous shorts), including masterpieces such as Nathalie Granger and India Song. Exploring the nature and limits of the medium with the same fiercely intelligent, radically experimental approach that made her writings so singular and important, Duras’s cinema is a crucial component of her life’s work.

For more information, go to www.fiaf.org.

In the Words of Duras: Marguerite Duras Festival
February 18-March 12, 2010

French Institute Alliance Française
22 East 60th Street, NYC

Anthology Film Archives
32 2nd Avenue, NYC


Baryshnikov Arts Center
450 West 37th Street, Suite 501
New York City