Duet for Cannibals

Director: Susan Sontag
Sweden / 1969 / 105 minutes
In Swedish with English subtitles

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Online premiere of new restoration.

In the late ’60s, a Swedish studio invited essayist, novelist, critic, cinephile, and all-around intellectual dynamo Susan Sontag to make her directorial debut in Stockholm. The resulting film, 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 toward uncharted territory, gamesmanship that broaches the surreal and violent. Defying literal-minded interpretation, Duet for Cannibals is both an illustrative companion to Sontag’s criticism and an introduction to a startlingly original filmmaker.

A Metrograph Pictures release.