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The Cinema of Marguerite Duras

Multisensoriality and Female Subjectivity

Michelle Royer

Paperback (Forthcoming)
Hardback (Forthcoming)

Examines how the films of Marguerite Duras create a multisensorial experience for spectators

The writer Marguerite Duras was a key figure in post-war French cinema, pioneering innovations such as the disjunction of film and image, and the primacy given to voices, silence and music. Her multisensorial approach opened up new spaces for the female experience to be expressed. Although she worked with some of the best French visual technicians and musicians of her time, critiques have often neglected the visual and sonic aesthetics of her films, and their effects on spectators. Drawing on theories of embodiment and spectatorship, this book analyses the tactility and multisensoriality of Duras’ films, and how they relate to her female-centred perspective.

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1: Film Theory, Multisensoriality and the Feminine
2: Inscribing Authorship
3: De-synchronisation, Subversion and the Senses
4: Multisensorial Visuality
5: Soundscape: Sonic Aesthetics and the Feminine

About the Author

Michelle Royer is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of French and Francophone Studies at the University of Sydney, where she teaches French speaking cinema. Her research focuses on 20th and 21st Century cinema, French socio-political films, French female filmmakers, Marguerite Duras’s cinema and French feminist thought. She has published extensively on French Female filmmakers and on star studies in French and in English.


Royer’s study is a brilliant repositioning of Duras’s cinema as a poetical, multisensory experience. Informed by recent developments in neuroscience and film theory such as embodied spectatorship and cinesthetic encounters and the feminist criticism of Irigaray, Kristeva, Cixous and others, Royer illuminates Duras’s radically innovative—and gendered--cinematic voice and syntax. A masterly analysis.

- Professor Carol J. Murphy, University of Florida

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