The Girl from Marseilles

Cathy Lee Crane

2000 | 00:18:00 | United States / France | English | B&W | Stereo | 4:3 | 16mm film

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: Mental Landscape, Portrait

This fictional memoir gives voice to the woman who haunted Andre Breton's 1927 Surrealist novel Nadja. Speaking from the sanitarium as World War II approaches, she recounts their nine-day love affair in the streets of Paris. Nadja is imaged following the game of exquisite corpse, with staged and framed gestures, excerpts from Surrealist films and archival newsreels as well as fragments from the walks of the filmmaker as flaneur. The film allows Nadja to speak back to her interlocutor through fragments of texts ranging from Montaigne to Djuna Barnes and through images photographed on 16mm at the Parisian sites referenced throughout Breton’s novel. Nadja becomes, as a result, an articulation of what feminist art historian Whitney Chadwick has described as “a composite being” -- a figuration central to the concerns of women artists of the time. In the permanent collection of Forum des Images/Paris.

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Exhibitions + Festivals

American Originals Now, National Gallery of Art, 2015

Los Angeles Filmforum/Echo Park Film Center Composite Histories, 2011

ZDF/3sat German Television, 2002

San Francisco International Film Festival, 2002

Mill Valley Film Festival, Mill Valley, CA, 2001

Women in the Director's Chair, Chicago, IL, 2001

Le Cinematheque, Nantes, France, 2000

Centre Gallerie-Bruxelles, Paris, France, 2000

Cork International Film Festival, Cork, Ireland, 2000

Vienna International Film Festival, Vienna, Austria, 2000