This project examines what I will term the 'reductive' cinema of Chantal Akerman and Marguerite Duras by means of a study into the philosophical, political and artistic connections that marked the work of these multidisciplinary artists. Their experiments with reduction in the sound and image tracks are characterized by a minimization of visual signifiers in combination with an increased reliance on sound, particularly voice-overs, emphasized silences and anti-naturalistic speech. These stylistic traits are matched with elliptical, anti-dramatic narratives and anti-psychological characterization and acting. The anti-capitalist, self-made art of Akerman and Duras privileges autofiction and ascetic, reductive modernism and is a radical aesthetic expression of the anti-institutionalism and anti-authoritarianism of the post 1968 period. The related ways in which the films of Akerman and Duras inhabit what is traditionally called 'minimalism' will allow me to requalify and historically situate this overused term in contemporary film studies. My comparative and genealogical research with emphasis on the catalytic turn in Continental philosophy toward negativity and transcendence, will allow for an analysis of the origin and nature of reduction in the cinema of Akerman and Duras as it relates to conceptions of aesthetic negativity in the art, literature, criticism and philosophy of the period under study.