From My Window / From Your Window

From My Window / From Your Window

e-flux / International Short Film Festival Oberhausen

Marguerite Duras, Les mains négatives (Negative Hands), 1978.

May 8, 2020
From My Window / From Your Window
Film #2

e-flux and the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen are pleased to present Marguerite Duras’s Les mains négatives, the second installment in the joint series From My Window / From Your Window.

Marguerite Duras, Les mains négatives (Negative Hands), 1978
France, 13:43 minutes

An uninterrupted traveling shot seen from the inside of a car. From the end of a night till dawn, from the Bastille to the Champs-Élysées—by way of the boulevard des Italiens, avenue de l’Opéra, and rue de Rivoli—a depopulated Paris offers itself to Marguerite Duras’ voice.

In Les mains négatives, Duras creates a literature beyond the book, where the boundary between fiction and documentation becomes obsolete. She deprives the photographic image of its documentary function in order to make visible in it something that never belonged to it, something unphotographed. Here, Duras represents a mystical view of history similar to Edmond Jabès, who wrote that the entire memory of the world is contained in a grain of sand. It’s probably what Sartre did not understand about Freud: that the unconscious is not a past being. But that it is also not a fiction—it is real.

Marguerite Duras (1914–1996) was a French novelist, playwright, screenwriter, essayist, and filmmaker. One of the most influential intellectual figures of her generation, she is the author of numerous works, among them the films Hiroshoma mon amour (writer; 1959) and India Song (writer and director; 1975), as well the novel L’Amant (The Lover, 1984) which was awarded the prestigious Prix Goncourt.

About the series
Organized by e-flux and the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, this joint screening series is inspired by a film by Józef Robakowski titled Z mojego okna (From My Window), made in Łodż, Poland over a 20-year period from 1978 to 1999, as part of a project that Robakowski called My Very Own Cinema: “what I work on when nothing is working out.”
The series will present a short film every week—all of them freely available online—starting May 1, 2020 with Robakowski’s film. Alongside the films, we have asked artists and filmmakers to contribute a brief video-letter or video statement to this project: a small window into their current situation, and into how they are living through this moment. It is our hope that this collective record of the present will help us imagine a future that we want to live in. The first of these responses was Emily Jacir’s 24 marzo (dalla mia finestra), with new responses presented every other week.

For more information contact program [​at​]

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e-flux  / International Short Film Festival Oberhausen
May 8, 2020

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