Film Quarterly contributing editor and Paris correspondent Joan Dupont introduces readers to the films of Michelle Porte, a French director best known for her intimate portraits of writers, actors, and filmmakers. The focus of a retrospective at the Bibliothèque nationale in Paris in 2018, Porte’s films offer remarkable access to the private worlds of their subjects, including Virginia Woolf (1981) and Françoise Sagan (1996). Porte is best known, however, for her long association with the celebrated author, playwright, and filmmaker Marguerite Duras. Following their first meeting in 1966 on the set of Duras’ first film, La musica, Porte became Duras’ frequent collaborator, all the while gathering material for her own film, Les lieux de Marguerite Duras (1976). Dupont’s wide-ranging interview with Porte offers insight into the French televisual landscape that supported Porte’s films as well as into her oeuvre and relationship with Duras.
Michelle Porte: Keeping Her Distance
Joan Dupont has profiled artists, writers, and filmmakers since the 1980s for the International Herald Tribune, the New York Times, Film Comment, and Film Quarterly. She has published interviews with Clint Eastwood, Edward Yang, Ann Hui, Abbas Kiarostami, Patricia Highsmith, Claude Chabrol, Eric Rohmer, Alain Resnais, Isabelle Huppert, and Juliette Binoche, among many others. She lives in Paris and New York and continues to write on film and filmmakers for a variety of publications.
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Joan Dupont; Michelle Porte: Keeping Her Distance. Film Quarterly 1 March 2021; 74 (3): 56–65. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fq.2021.74.3.56
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