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Le navire Night
Directed by Marguerite Duras • 1979 • France
Starring Bulle Ogier, Dominique Sanda, Mathieu Carrière
With LE NAVIRE NIGHT, writer and filmmaker Marguerite Duras explores the matrix of love, desire, and language in her characteristically oblique and experimental style. The film’s lovers—played by Dominique Sanda and Mathieu Carrière—are never allowed to meet in person, instead carrying out their conversations over the phone, using unlisted phone lines left over from the German occupation of Paris. Elliptical sequences play out in empty streets, nocturnal cityscapes, and shadowy interiors, linked together only by the spectral presence of the character’s voices. At once dreamlike, intimate, and fundamentally anonymous, LE NAVIRE NIGHT challenges the conventional relationship between sound, image, and narrative and stands as a particularly uncompromising expression of Duras’s subversive approach to filmmaking.