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UCLA Film & Television Archive and the Hugh M. Hefner Classic American Film Program present

Sontag, From the Archive

Duet for Cannibals
February 7, 2020 - 7:30 pm


On the occasion of the new 2K restoration of Susan Sontag’s debut feature, Duet for Cannibals, and the 50th anniversary of her premiere filmmaking effort, the Archive is joining with UCLA Library Special Collections to present highlights from the Susan Sontag Papers, a collection acquired in 2002. The contents of the Papers reflect Sontag’s intelligence, energy and seamless integration of her wide-ranging interests in her work and life. In addition to notes, research and manuscript material relating to her writing, theater and film projects, the collection includes personal and professional correspondence, journals, highlights from her library, personal photographs and various ephemera related to her public appearances. Facsimile collection materials will be on view in the lobby, followed by a brief presentation before the screening.

Duet for Cannibals  (1969)

New 2K restoration!

Essayist, novelist, critic, cinephile, and all-around intellectual dynamo Susan Sontag made her directorial debut with this definition-defying, dryly funny psychological serio-comedy, the result of a Swedish studio’s invitation to her to make a film in Stockholm. The result, revolving around the quadrangular relationship between an arrogant ex-revolutionist German intellectual exile, his elegant wife, their Swedish student secretary, and the earnest secretary’s bride-to-be, is a roundelay of partner-swapping that gradually drifts towards uncharted territory and gamesmanship that broaches the surreal and violent. Defying literal-minded interpretation, Duet for Cannibals is both an illustrative companion to Sontag’s criticism, and introduction of a startlingly original filmmaker.

DCP, b/w, in Swedish with English subtitles, 105 min. Director/Screenwriter: Susan Sontag. Cast: Adriana Asti, Lars Ekborg, Gösta Ekman.