Chantal Akerman – No Home Movie [subbing copy] (2015)

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“This film is above all about my mother, my mother who is no longer with us. About this woman who arrived in Belgium in 1938 , fleeing Poland, the pogroms and the violence. This woman who is only ever seen inside her apartment. An apartment in Brussels. A film about a world in motion that my mother does not see.” Continue reading

Chantal Akerman – No Home Movie (2015)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

“This film is above all about my mother, my mother who is no longer with us. About this woman who arrived in Belgium in 1938 , fleeing Poland, the pogroms and the violence. This woman who is only ever seen inside her apartment. An apartment in Brussels. A film about a world in motion that my mother does not see.” Continue reading

Chantal Akerman – Les rendez-vous d’Anna aka Anna’s Meetings (1978)

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Criterion wrote:
In one of Akerman’s most penetrating character studies, Anna, an accomplished filmmaker (played by Aurore Clément), makes her way through a series of European cities to promote her latest movie. Via a succession of eerie, exquisitely shot, brief encounters—with men and women, family and strangers—we come to see her emotional and physical detachment from the world. Continue reading

Chantal Akerman – La Captive [+Extras] (2000)

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Quote:
Loosely based on the fifth volume of Proust’s monolithic À La recherche du temps perdu, La Captive is a dark study of obsessive love from Chantal Akerman, currently one of Belgian’s most highly rated film directors. The feel of the film is more a psychological thriller than a traditional romantic drama, with frequent references to Hitchcock’s Vertigo more than evident.
The most striking feature of the film is its austere cinematography. Most of the film is set at night or within darkened rooms (which no matter how large appear stiflingly claustrophobic), something which constantly emphasises the prisoner-gaoler relationship of the two young lovers. Add to that the restrained (yet effective) performances of the two lead actors and the result is a hauntingly existentialist work, a chilling black poem of a fairytale romance twisted and ultimately obliterated by perverse mental aberrations. Continue reading

Chantal Akerman – Je, tu, il, elle aka I, You, He, She (1975)

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Criterion wrote:
In her provocative first feature, Chantal Akerman stars as an aimless young woman who leaves self-imposed isolation to embark on a road trip that leads to lonely love affairs with a male truck driver and a former girlfriend. With its famous real-time carnal encounter and its daring minimalism, Je tu il elle is Akerman’s most sexually audacious film. Continue reading

Chantal Akerman – D’Est aka From the East (1993)

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Chicago Reader wrote:
Chantal Akerman’s haunting 1993 masterpiece documents without commentary or dialogue her several-months-long trip from east Germany to Moscow–a tough and formally rigorous inventory of what the former Soviet bloc looks and feels like today. Akerman’s painterly penchant for finding Edward Hopper wherever she goes has never been more obvious; this travelogue seemingly offers vistas any alert tourist could find yet delivers a series of images and sounds that are impossible to shake later: the countless tracking shots, the sense of people forever waiting, the rare occurrence of a plaintive offscreen violin over an otherwise densely ambient sound track, static glimpses of roadside sites and domestic interiors, the periphery of an outdoor rock concert, a heavy Moscow snowfall, a crowded terminal where weary people and baggage are huddled together like so many dropped handkerchiefs. The only other film I know that imparts such a vivid sense of being somewhere is the Egyptian section of Straub-Huillet’s Too Early, Too Late. Everyone goes to movies in search of events, but the extraordinary events in Akerman’s sorrowful, intractable film are the shots themselves–the everyday recorded by a powerful artist with an acute eye and ear. Continue reading

Chantal Akerman – J’ai faim, j’ai froid AKA I’m Hungry, I’m Cold (1984)

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Chantal Akerman was 15 years old when she saw the film Pierrot le Fou by Jean-Luc Godard. According to Akerman, who was born in Belgium in 1950, this was the impulse that motivated her to be a filmmaker. Akerman attended the Film Academy in Brussels for four months, but says that she found no inspiration there whatsoever. At the age of 18 she shot the short film Saute Ma Ville and made her first mark in the annals of film history with an explosive master piece that continues to be shown at film schools and is regarded today as one of the central short films of the 20th century. Continue reading