It was tough to find any straightforward reviews of Susan Sontag’s directorial debut, but there was certainly a lot written about the film in 1969.
Here’s an interesting article in the NY Times previewing the film, and discussing it’s creation (click for a bigger image):
The film itself is discussed in this Vincent Canby piece about the NY Film Festival. This is the heart of the Duet review:
“The key to the enjoyment of the film…can be found in Miss Sontag’s essays. It’s not becuase the film recalls either Godard or Bresson, about whom Miss Sontag has written with extraordinary insight. Rather it’s because the film adamantly refuses interpretation on any level but he surface one. It simply is what it is, a self-contained comedy of set pieces, some of which sort of remind you of events (political and psychological) out-side the film without ever actually representing those events.”
(On a related note, this article also talks about Eric Rohmer’s My Night at Maud’s, which is currently playing through Thursday at NWFF. Says Canby, “[Maud’s] was, for me, the finest film in the festival.”)
Finally, here is a negative review of the film from Films in Review. However, the description only makes me want to see the movie more. Sontag’s methods of filmmaking sound remarkably modern (“Her story-line is a pretzel she probably twisted around from day to day as she was shooting”) and intriguing. It’s also simply interesting to see a critic rip into Sontag so harshly.
Duet for Cannibals plays NWFF June 24-25 at 8pm.