From France's leading experimental writer, seventy-two short takes on the general theme of movies, most of which first appeared in Cahiers du Cinema in 1980. Duras is best-known here for her exquisite script for Alain Resnais's formidably time-shuffled New Wave classic Hiroshima, Mon Amour. This collection, however, is a tiresome, sometimes lyrical, cry of the heart about apartness, about Duras's personal films not finding a sizable audience--that entertainment-oriented blue-collar audience that has no use for works like hers but that supports the French film industry and never reads Cahiers du Cinema Duras grandly relinquishes the escapist viewer she can't reach (""He has gone no further [than escapism] since childhood, and similarly that's where he still is, in cinematographic childhood. . .""; dismisses mass-market moviemakers; clubs Annie Hall and Woody Allen for not having Chaplin's genius for stamping his hero's character onto the sets and backgrounds as Chaplin did in City Lights; calls Peter Brooks's leasing of her novel Moderato Cantabili phony, as was the script (not by her); declares American Graffiti ""a joy; cinema, the way you say music""; calls Jacques Tati's Playtime ""gigantic, the greatest movie that has ever been done on modem times""; dismisses Ingmar Bergman as ""hot air."" But she's brilliant on Charles Langhton's Night of the Hunter, and has a fascinating interview with Elia Kazan. An Olympian's Olympian--and, like Zeus, utterly humorless.