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Marguerite Duras

Saturday, March 18, 1995
The Truck
Marguerite Duras France, 1977

(Le Camion). In the time-honored French tradition of L'Age d'or and Rules of the Game, Duras's Le Camion inspired fisticuffs between its supporters and detractors. In New York, Richard Roud hailed its "sheer nerve and physical beauty," Pauline Kael called it "tonic and funny...an ornery, glimmering achievement." Duras stars, along with Gérard Depardieu, a truck, and a landscape. The humans sit around a table and essentially conjure up the truck and the desolately beautiful landscape as she reads him a screenplay for a film ("It would have been a film, therefore it is a film") in which he plays a truck driver who picks up a female hitchhiker. The hitchhiker is a composite of Duras heroines and of Duras herself at the moment: "She is no longer bored....What I see in her is a pure joy of existing, without struggle for meaning" (Duras). "The Truck is a spiritual autobiography, [an] end-of-the-world road movie..." (Kael)

• Written by Duras. Photographed by Bruno Nuytten. With Duras, Gérard Depardieu. (80 mins, In French with English subtitles, Color, 35mm)