At Home With Marguerite Duras
26 February – 5 May 2020
6 Broadway Market, London E8 4QJ
I first came across Nathalie Granger (1972, dir. Marguerite Duras) as a still in an ancient film festival programme. Two women, one fair, one dark, sat opposite each other at a kitchen table. Everything that fascinates me about this film is in that image: two women passing time together amid the clutter of a real kitchen. They are both beautiful, but more than that they seem strong and occupied with their own thoughts. I tracked down the whole film and was captivated. Maybe because I was once a set dresser in the ‘art department‘ of film production, I found myself watching the interiors as much as the actors: the large, mysteriously empty house - choked with paintings and furniture, a wild garden around it - feels like a character in the film as much as either of the women. The film offers so much to a painter because it is full of looking: down corridors, through doorways and in mirrors, at these two women about whom we never find out much. An afternoon progresses slowly; they chat, smoke, clear up lunch, take naps; their children come home from school. It feels like life: boring and interesting at the same time.
The Cuisine of Marguerite Duras