I just found this clip from D'Est, one of my favorite films.
― Eazy, Sunday, 8 February 2009 23:54 (fourteen years ago) link
― Eazy, Sunday, 8 February 2009 23:55 (fourteen years ago) link
i've only seen la captive, which is really good. what besides d'est should go on the netflix queue?
― adam, Monday, 9 February 2009 01:14 (fourteen years ago) link
There's not a lot else out. Jeanne Dielman is amazing, an acheivement not just for Ackerman but also Delphine Seyrig. A new print has just started touring. About a year back I saw Ju, Tu, Ill, Elle in rep, and I can assure you that neither myself or any of the other 30 or so people in attendence were prepared for those final scenes ;-)
I saw A Couch In New York (her romcom w/ J. Binoche) on tv along time ago. I recall it being ok.
There's is also a really good film she did for French TV called "Ackerman on Ackerman" wherein she edited a bunch of clips from her films together. It's alot of fun, certainly more fun than you would expect given how dour her work can be.
― The Wild Shirtless Lyrics of Mark Farner (C. Grisso/McCain), Monday, 9 February 2009 02:00 (fourteen years ago) link
Farner, Grisso & McCain is selling Jeanne Dielman short; it's one of the four or five greatest achievements for cinema period. I doubt it will ever be released on DVD, Bloo-Ray, or pixie dust hologram. Besides, it really wouldn't work in the home unless you could insure that its 3 hours and 40 minutes could pass uninterrupted which is essential to its damn near scientific effect on you.
Also check out her musical Window Shopping, her musical without songs Night and Day, and her finest film this decade, the heartbreaking De l'autre côté (From The Other Side).
― Kevin John Bozelka, Monday, 9 February 2009 03:01 (fourteen years ago) link
Uh guys, Jeanne D. is out on DVD! Well, in Europe at least. I recently bought this box set.
Maybe not my fave but 'Toute une Nuit' (All Night Long) made a very strong impression on me. Not sure I could be bothered watching it agaon tho
― baaderonixx, Monday, 9 February 2009 09:21 (fourteen years ago) link
I first heard of her from... dude, I can't remember his name. I interviewed him for some zine. I'm actually pretty sure it was Alan Licht. He mentioned it cause he knew I was from Belgium and so is Chantal. Never did check out her stuff. :-(
― Nathalie (stevienixed), Monday, 9 February 2009 13:54 (fourteen years ago) link
there's still time! all her films have now bene released on dvd, at least in Belgium.
― baaderonixx, Monday, 9 February 2009 13:55 (fourteen years ago) link
I'm no longer a snooty intellectual wannabe. ;-) Srsly though, I should. Where to start?
― Nathalie (stevienixed), Monday, 9 February 2009 14:07 (fourteen years ago) link
maybe we shd correct spelling of Akerman so we can find this thread in future?
― Dr Morbius, Monday, 9 February 2009 14:44 (fourteen years ago) link
The fact that there's a new Janus Films print of Jeanne D. going around right now almost definitely means it will be a Criterion DVD sooner or later.
I caught it at Film Forum a few weeks ago, and it's by far the best film I've seen in a long, long time. I was absolutely riveted.
― Hatch, Monday, 9 February 2009 17:44 (fourteen years ago) link
Man what I wouldn't give for the nft to screen a season of her films (instead of boring ol' Kubrick). Search: Dielman (and Manny Farber's essay on it), Captive (all I've seen so far) and try to catch her video art. You get the harsh angles and all that.
― xyzzzz__, Monday, 9 February 2009 20:52 (fourteen years ago) link
btw I read somewhere she said of Jeanne's third client, "It was him or her, and I'm glad it was him."
― Dr Morbius, Monday, 9 February 2009 21:00 (fourteen years ago) link
I kinda had to sell it short, otherwise I'd get all gushy and shit. I'll just say that it captures a particular state of mind (which I unforutunately knew all too well when I viewed it) (and kind of getting back into at the moment). No film quite says "What's the use?" as well or as knowingly.
I think about the film often. The other day I was having breakfast at a usual haunt. There is this group of old ladies who come in every day, sit at the same table and drink coffee. This particular day someone (for the first time in long time) came in before them and claimed their table. The ladies came in and where quietly miffed at this development. I thought to myself, "This is just like what happend to Jeanne Dielman at the bar!" Not sure what the women did later. Hopefully that didn't respond the same way JD did.
BTW, for those of you who've seen more of her films, which one has a scene set at a party with a bunch of kids dancing to "La Bamba" and then "It's A Man's Man's Man's World"? The clip was featured in "Akerman on Ackerman" and I'd like to someday checkout the film which originally contained that brilliant scene.
― The Wild Shirtless Lyrics of Mark Farner (C. Grisso/McCain), Monday, 9 February 2009 21:11 (fourteen years ago) link
love the old lady on line @ post office in JD.
― Dr Morbius, Monday, 9 February 2009 21:12 (fourteen years ago) link
i have asked for a title correction.
― jed_, Monday, 9 February 2009 21:18 (fourteen years ago) link
thread title, i mean.
that was quick! thanks tehresa!
― jed_, Monday, 9 February 2009 21:21 (fourteen years ago) link
which one has a scene set at a party with a bunch of kids dancing to "La Bamba" and then "It's A Man's Man's Man's World"?
doesnt ring bell, but maybe it's from that musical she did, "Golden Eighties"?
― baaderonixx, Monday, 9 February 2009 22:12 (fourteen years ago) link
Don't remember that particular number in that one.
― lemmy tristano (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 10 February 2009 16:45 (fourteen years ago) link
Yeah, I checked on IMDB and the description doesn't match (although that film was also excerpted for "A on A"). From what I could gather from the other clips, the mystery film is about a teenage lesbian who runs away from home. Somewhere along the way she gets to go to a house party. There she gets to dance with a pretty girl to "La Bamba" while everyone else surrounds them in a circle (like a "spotlight dance"). Then "IAMMMW" comes on and the pretty girl's boyfriend comes in and pushes the heroine out of the circle so he can dance. From what I remember, Ackerman does some really effective cross-cutting on the girls, which combined with the song choices, perfectly conveys the excitement of the moment (and the ultimate disappointment as well).
― The Wild Shirtless Lyrics of Mark Farner (C. Grisso/McCain), Tuesday, 10 February 2009 17:02 (fourteen years ago) link
BTW, according to a poster on the criterion forum who saw Criterion's Kim Hendrickson speak the other night, Criterion is planning on releasing Jeanne Dielman later this year.
― The Wild Shirtless Lyrics of Mark Farner (C. Grisso/McCain), Tuesday, 10 February 2009 17:05 (fourteen years ago) link
Watched this last night:
Verdict: awesome (and not just because I have a crush of shame on Testud)
― The Wild Shirtless Lyrics of Mark Farner (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 5 June 2009 16:52 (thirteen years ago) link
Coming in August (the 25th to be exact)
― The Wild Shirtless Lyrics of Mark Farner (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 5 June 2009 16:56 (thirteen years ago) link
News From Home, is the one I'm keen on, predictably.
― admrl, Friday, 5 June 2009 17:59 (thirteen years ago) link
Bout time! Arguably the greatest film ever made. And what a great cover!
― Kevin John Bozelka, Friday, 5 June 2009 21:06 (thirteen years ago) link
― xyzzzz__, Friday, 5 June 2009 21:31 (thirteen years ago) link
Coming In January
― Roomful of Moogs (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 16 October 2009 14:03 (thirteen years ago) link
Just got Jeanne Dielman from Netflix the other day; looking forward to watching it this weekend.
― M. Grissom/DeShields (jaymc), Friday, 16 October 2009 14:08 (thirteen years ago) link
get ready for a wiiiiiild ride
― banned, on the run (s1ocki), Friday, 16 October 2009 22:40 (thirteen years ago) link
― M. Grissom/DeShields (jaymc), Friday, 16 October 2009 22:46 (thirteen years ago) link
I can't overemphasize: Watch in one sitting. (Maybe one bathroom break.)
― Your Favorite Saturday Night Thing (Dr Morbius), Friday, 16 October 2009 22:56 (thirteen years ago) link
i never entered that meatloaf contest :(
― banned, on the run (s1ocki), Friday, 16 October 2009 23:03 (thirteen years ago) link
― Your Favorite Saturday Night Thing (Dr Morbius), Friday, 16 October 2009 23:04 (thirteen years ago) link
Between the Kurosawa box and this Ackerman series, Criterion will sufficiently keep me indoors even more this winter.
― The Perfect Weapon 2, Saturday, 17 October 2009 15:22 (thirteen years ago) link
― The Perfect Weapon 2, Saturday, 17 October 2009 15:24 (thirteen years ago) link
― banned, on the run (s1ocki), Saturday, 17 October 2009 22:42 (thirteen years ago) link
anyone ever see toute une nuit? seems kind of hard to.
― high-five machine (schlump), Friday, 8 January 2010 21:24 (thirteen years ago) link
yeah one of my faves but as I said above, I doubt I'd eve manage to watch it again.
I realize I now live literally next door to 23 quai du commerce, Brussels.
― spiny doughboy (baaderonixx), Saturday, 9 January 2010 00:17 (thirteen years ago) link
schlump, i webmailed you.
― jed_, Saturday, 9 January 2010 00:27 (thirteen years ago) link
well thanks jed but no, i'm not interested in doing that kind of modelling for you.
if you have an further offers?, you could shoot me a mail at corkysdebt at hotmail dot com :D
― high-five machine (schlump), Saturday, 9 January 2010 02:33 (thirteen years ago) link
"news from home" is really good.
― tanuki, Monday, 16 January 2012 04:05 (eleven years ago) link
new one showing in NYC this week
― Pangborn to be Wilde (Dr Morbius), Monday, 13 August 2012 20:08 (ten years ago) link
w/director in person iirc
― , Blogger (schlump), Monday, 13 August 2012 20:28 (ten years ago) link
i feel like there are five CA docs that have come out as plain-looking dvds in the past lil while; i always see them positively reviewed & advertised in filmcomment, has anybody seen any?
― , Blogger (schlump), Monday, 13 August 2012 20:29 (ten years ago) link
Three years too late, I know, but that circle dance scene described above is from Portrait of a Young Girl at the End of the 60s in Brussels.
― Cherish, Monday, 13 August 2012 20:41 (ten years ago) link
just saw her do Q&A for Almayer's Folly, which was sometimes hypnotic and, partic the last scene, left me a bit cold. She answered one question by saying "'Why' doesn't matter."
― Pangborn to be Wilde (Dr Morbius), Friday, 17 August 2012 04:18 (ten years ago) link
Been to the last two screenings of the Chantal Akerman season and going again tonight.
Didn't know this but she is going to be there!
― xyzzzz__, Thursday, 22 May 2014 13:35 (eight years ago) link
Akerman gave a brief intro to the films but in between came back for a Q&A which didn't seem pre-planned (the ICA had to get a microphone ready). She was moved by the applause at the beginning an like to think she wanted to give sometime for people to ask anything. It sorta started as a talk on what Pina Bausch was like and how the doc was made, then went into "well I am not going to be here after my next film is shown as I want to sleep so if you'd like to ask anything then its now or never...you don't have to, sometimes its better not to say anything"
There were three questions but they were basically interrupted (good on the first one which was just a v dry question about where does performance start and end that you could never pin her down to -- too much of an attempt to reveal a method -- its interesting that the question's phrasing may sound as precise as her images but they miss all the colour and sense of humour present that are such a big part of her films...for the most part) as she started giving a riff on a theme about half-way through, because her English is at 70% they were kinda half-replies half-rants that would go to funny places. When she talked about how she needed to do different things after Jeanne Dielman it was all "I could've stopped...but not like Rimbaud where I could've been a drug dealer, or sell slaves" (!)
I loved how she talked about Pina -- Akerman was very honest and open at how the beauty she first saw in her choreography turned to anger as she gradually uncovered the sadistic side, involving sinister manipulation of the people in her company -- its something you see on Wenders' film through interviews but here its shown via a series of rehearsals for scenes flowing through performances on stage (she aimed to edit her film like a piece by Pina, and it certainly gives that feel of attending to contemporary dance). She compared Pina to Celine (who I happen to be reading!) and how the work -- the end result -- is what matters. But those questions are never really resolved?
― xyzzzz__, Thursday, 22 May 2014 23:18 (eight years ago) link
Three years too late, I know, but that circle dance scene described above is from Portrait of a Young Girl at the End of the 60s in Brussels.― Cherish, Monday, August 13, 2012 3:41 PM (1 year ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink
― Cherish, Monday, August 13, 2012 3:41 PM (1 year ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink
Almost two years too late on me, but THANK YOU!
― Damnit Janet Weiss & The Riot Grrriel (C. Grisso/McCain), Thursday, 22 May 2014 23:24 (eight years ago) link
I am pitching an Akerman pod to my Lodgers co host.
― Simon H., Saturday, 9 November 2019 05:11 (three years ago) link
― flappy bird, Saturday, 9 November 2019 06:04 (three years ago) link
...which is already turning into a meta project about the difficulty of completist cinephilia even before she approves it!
― Simon H., Saturday, 9 November 2019 06:07 (three years ago) link
Chantal Akerman getting a Criterion Channel spotlight in June, including her hard-to-come-by musical GOLDEN EIGHTIES, which I’ve only seen sans subs pic.twitter.com/3TproQHd6Z— Scott Nye (@railoftomorrow) May 20, 2020
― Vegemite Is My Grrl (Eric H.), Wednesday, 20 May 2020 19:48 (two years ago) link
That one rules.
― k*r*n koltrane (Simon H.), Wednesday, 20 May 2020 20:51 (two years ago) link
ok guess ill do the free trial then
― flappy bird, Thursday, 21 May 2020 00:21 (two years ago) link
man, the Criterion Channel added some stuff I'd never seen (Golden Eighties).
― TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 1 June 2020 17:15 (two years ago) link
do they have Les Annees 80 also? kind of an interesting companion
― k*r*n koltrane (Simon H.), Monday, 1 June 2020 17:16 (two years ago) link
Temptation to subscribe...rising...
― flappy bird, Monday, 1 June 2020 17:40 (two years ago) link
I will def be doing an Akerman series in the screening room if I keep it up a while.
― k*r*n koltrane (Simon H.), Monday, 1 June 2020 17:43 (two years ago) link
And a slew of Dunye films I haven't seen.
― TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 1 June 2020 17:46 (two years ago) link
i saw Golden Eighties last night in 35mm and was quite taken with it... a '50s Technicolor pastiche that manages to incorporate her mother's Holocaust experience.
Was Delphine Seyrig ever not All-World in anything? Heartbreaking.
― we can be heroes just for about 3.6 seconds (Dr Morbius), Thursday, February 25, 2016
― brooklyn suicide cult (Dr Morbius), Monday, 1 June 2020 17:47 (two years ago) link
Good to know, Simon, thanks. That means I can wait.
I MUST SEE THIS IMMEDIATELY 😭
― flappy bird, Monday, 1 June 2020 17:47 (two years ago) link
Dunno how Seyrig keeps her cool, projects empathy, yet stays mysterious at the same time.
― TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 1 June 2020 17:49 (two years ago) link
sort of a less 'royal' Jeanne Moreau
― brooklyn suicide cult (Dr Morbius), Monday, 1 June 2020 17:52 (two years ago) link
Was just thinking of her as well.
― Ernani and the Professor (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 1 June 2020 17:52 (two years ago) link
That means I can wait.
I think if I did Rendez vous D'Anna / d'Est (maybe?) / Golden Eighties / No Home Movie as the selections, that should be sufficiently head-spinning.
― k*r*n koltrane (Simon H.), Monday, 1 June 2020 18:00 (two years ago) link
she's certainly antic in Blow Up My Town, esp for a Topic Omega film
― brooklyn suicide cult (Dr Morbius), Monday, 1 June 2020 18:18 (two years ago) link
haha she's hilarious in that short
yeah Simon that triple feature sounds great
― flappy bird, Monday, 1 June 2020 18:49 (two years ago) link
Le Chambre is way too fucking large
goddamnn 1971 NY living spaces
― brooklyn suicide cult (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 2 June 2020 16:55 (two years ago) link
I found Golden Eighties a strange marvel. Its use of the demotic in musicals reminds me of what Woody Allen tried to do in 1996
― TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 2 June 2020 17:00 (two years ago) link
Would have been her seventieth birthday today.
― How I Wrote Neuroplastic Man (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 7 June 2020 02:35 (two years ago) link
― k*r*n koltrane (Simon H.), Sunday, 7 June 2020 02:44 (two years ago) link
Taken from a Slate piece posted two weeks ago--glad I didn't come across it until after tonight's Mrs. America finale. The final shot: Phyllis Schlafly on the right, after not getting the Reagan cabinet appointment she was expecting (not sure how historically accurate that is).
― clemenza, Thursday, 11 June 2020 05:12 (two years ago) link
that's pretty funny
― flappy bird, Thursday, 11 June 2020 17:04 (two years ago) link
Jeanne Dielman is the fourth ever number 1 in the best movie pollhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeanne_Dielman,_23_quai_du_Commerce,_1080_Bruxelleshttps://www.bfi.org.uk/sight-and-sound/greatest-films-all-time
― StanM, Friday, 2 December 2022 07:55 (three months ago) link
oh there's another discussion. sorry
― StanM, Friday, 2 December 2022 08:50 (three months ago) link
Akerman has long been a blind spot for me, perennially on the "I'll get to her" list, partly because she seemed like kind of a heavy lift. Before today, I'd only seen the short La Chambre and, for whatever reason, Golden Eighties — which I liked a lot but also knew was not exactly representative. Anyway, I decided to start the new year by finally watching Jeanne Dielman, no doubt one of many thousands goaded into it by the Sight & Sound ranking. And yeah, obviously great. As a newbie I won't belabor the thread with thoughts about it, except to say that it made me wish we had a Jeanne Dielman for every decade and every country or culture — a detailed inquisition of domestic routine and ritual.
So I guess News From Home is next, huh?
― a man often referred to in the news media as the Duke of Saxony (tipsy mothra), Sunday, 1 January 2023 23:13 (two months ago) link
Not necessarily, it's too closely bound-up. I'd go for D'Est.
― xyzzzz__, Monday, 2 January 2023 00:35 (two months ago) link
Les rendez-vous d'Anna is another great entry point
― Dan S, Monday, 2 January 2023 00:45 (two months ago) link
I think they're all on Criterion, maybe I'll just binge Akerman all January.
― a man often referred to in the news media as the Duke of Saxony (tipsy mothra), Monday, 2 January 2023 00:54 (two months ago) link
I tried to spread them out over a period of time, as Morbs advised with Hong Sangsoo
Hotel Monterey is very hypnotic and is one of my favorite films of hers, but it is silent. Maybe you could provide your own soundtrack, but I don't think most soundtracks could possibly represent this film. The images portraying the strangeness of the hotel foreshadow The Shining. The camera doesn't start moving around until the end
― Dan S, Monday, 2 January 2023 02:45 (two months ago) link
I paired Hotel Monterey with Eno’s Discreet Music some years ago and it worked supremely well.
― vmajestic, Monday, 2 January 2023 05:15 (two months ago) link
Try The Captive, tips.
― Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 2 January 2023 10:36 (two months ago) link
I would not recommend trying The Captive at this early stage
― عباس کیارستمی (Eric H.), Monday, 2 January 2023 11:18 (two months ago) link
He's watched Jeanne Dielman. Might as well.
― Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 2 January 2023 11:22 (two months ago) link
OK, I would not recommend trying The Captive at any stage
― عباس کیارستمی (Eric H.), Monday, 2 January 2023 11:23 (two months ago) link
Lol I think it was my first by her. It was good but I don't think I read the source material.
― xyzzzz__, Monday, 2 January 2023 11:27 (two months ago) link
Watch Hotel Monterey silent at least once before you play any music over it.
― Halfway there but for you, Monday, 2 January 2023 18:13 (two months ago) link
― xyzzzz__, Friday, 6 January 2023 17:11 (two months ago) link
― Wyverns and gulls rule my world (Noodle Vague), Friday, 6 January 2023 17:16 (two months ago) link
“If Michael knew … if he knew how his art was being treated … I think he will die! If he saw this, he would die here.”
When TIFF and the Art Gallery of Ontario had a big Michael Snow retrospective, they screened all of his films but for some reason they only showed 'Rameau's Nephew' by Diderot (Thanx to Dennis Young) by Wilma Schoen one reel at a time, once a week. I met him in the gallery and asked why, and he seemed puzzled by their choice but not too annoyed. Fortunately they screened the whole film at once several months later.I hadn't realized until now that Akerman appeared in the film!
― Halfway there but for you, Friday, 6 January 2023 17:49 (two months ago) link
― xyzzzz__, Friday, 6 January 2023 bookmarkflaglink
- So I watched Dielman last night. It was at the BFI screen one. For those who don't know the BFI has four screening theatres. One is the biggest screen, proper size. Two and three and mid-size and the last one is more like a gallery screen size. This anecodete I posted here back in Jan makes sense in the way that Dielman blown up to size is utterly magnificent. Savour the colour, the detail, for one thing.
- But if this film is about a woman losing her sense of self the shots of her walking around her apartment to buy groceries become an entirely different experience here because of the blown up size. There is a wonderful scene (every single one is great -- where to even start with this?? Just in terms of photographic composition its perfect: get a twitter bot to post screens of it and it would be as good as The Garden of Earthly Delights bot: the detail, colour, energy...everything so alive and vibrant) where she walks to get the metro and she is out of view, with lots of people packed into the space, for once. It took a good few seconds to find her when she almost barely gets into the compartment (her body, her means of income is utterly absent here). Its a minor detail, but in the architecture of the film this is something that looking back comes up again and again. In another scene, she is walking down the street, two boys of about 10 are walking by; they walk ahead just behind her, then just overtake her to go ahead, then they pull back, then forward, at which point Dielman walks across the street to avoid them, getting out of shot and lost again among the crowd.
- And when I first saw this at the old BFI (NFT as it was called then; a grandpa Simpson detail now), this was on an old shagged out print. I didn't know that much about feminism (nor do I know that much now). I probably watched Marienbad, and certainly Celine and Julie - what lingered was probably the length of some of the scenes. Seyrig's face in the toil of working the home, the drudgery of life and of course, that ending. I had seen Akerman's adaptation of the The Prisoner and liked it. Then the ICA and other small cinemas put up some screenings of her other incredible films over a year (all probably detailed here in this thread). I saw her speak at one of these, she was as combative with some of the questions as in the anecdote of that Snow film. So I devoured the other stuff she made. I forgot Dielman, though it was in the background as I read Manny Farber's amazing essay on it. I saw an exhibiton of her video work; and I loved her last film. Then the news of her suicide was just awful and something I think about every now and then...I really miss her in a way I don't miss other artists when they pass on (maybe its because I saw her speak and take no bullshit)...so I just stopped engaging with her work though I lauged at the memes on twitter of Dielman, in clean screens of the pristine cleaned up DVD version. Then of course the S&S poll, which while its silly it has meant the opportunity to go to a full sold-out screening...
- ...to laugh with the crowd at the funny scenes, and there are about four: The two dialogues with her son before bedtime, the reading of the letter from her aunt in a speeded up fashion (to show a lack of any erudition, or is it to not think about the content of her letter?), and the scene with the neighbour's baby (crying whenever Dielman picked him up, maybe the baby senses something...it certainly adds up no?)
- which takes place in the last day (of 2 1/2 days). So what I didn't get a sense of in my first watch was of the narrative pull, culminating in the last day. This last day is one of the most devastating watches in all of cinema. Things that passed over in 1 1/2 days now come to a head here: The letter from the aunt = will she marry again? The 1st dialogue = she met her husband just after the war (Akerman's real life mother was Jewish and a survivor of the Holcaust, so this detail takes on a life of its own; this film is about that generation who were scarred; and whatever happened in the 60s passed them by, Dielman wears that old woman scarf that was a 'fashion' at the time, and certainly fiddles with it in other scenes, she is old now...) sex was a minor detail in her life; he is now dead, so could she get used to another man? Sex (before its rendered in its most purely transactional form in the final act) is the annoying noise in the constant background, affording her the the means to feed her son, buy wool for knitting, pay for a seat at the coffee shop, the gas bill for her cooker and electricity bills so the light comes on and off (her constantly fiddling with the switches is such a beautiful detail), to rent the place she lives in to go up and down that lift (she does this on the last day but she doesn't go out, and she doesn't check the post -- another point in her breakdown -- the film is choked with micro detail). Sex work is work. And the 2nd dialogue where the son spouts feministy type stuff about 'penetration' (will he grow up to become one of her afternoon clients? The 2nd client seemed to look like her son about 20 years into the future). It was funny the first time I heard this monologue from him then, we all laughed along then and now...
- This film has a brutal logic to it. One of the first, noticeable points where something starts feeling off is in Dielman's relationship with food, where in the 2nd day she overcooks the potatoes. I bring in more things to this screening as I get older and closer to my own end, so I think of the argument over couscous in Fear Eats the Soul, or the ball in The Leopard, where the beautiful looking food is lined and it just tastes disgusting and rotten. Here its potatoes or the coffee tastes off, or she can't get the same seat in her daily trip to the coffee shop because its someone else in there (an older woman but different, she is reading attently; Dielman picks up a newspaper once (earlier in the film) and folds it without looking at it) or she can't find the right button for her son's (whom she adores) coat (another funny/sorta tragic point where she is searching for this phantom button, where she then spouts off something about how maybe she could find it in America, because the US is five years ahead of Europe, so she does absorb something from somewhere). Pre-final act: the photograph of Dielman in her wedding goes from fuzzy to a bit more clear. Gasps from the audience (isn't it nice to hear it again?) after its done. Packed with matter: 3.5 hours go by.
- And the last shot. Post final act. No close-up. A photograph with movement, showing a beautiful face, a face that acts and moves: the head tilts down, the neck stretches long, the head comes up, back up. Its silent film. Its framed with the discipline of Resnais, Ozu and Frampton and Snow. But in the end: trust the face. Great cinema as it was designed to be.
Akerman made this when she was 24. When Dielman turned up as no 1 in the S&S poll (a silly exercise as all polls are but I will never have my tastes reflected to me like this again so let me enjoy it), people said Welles made Kane at the same age. But beyond that its just remarkable how she made so many more films of different shapes and sizes, like there is just no comparison in terms of achievement over time. The problem might be that Dielman seems like a film that needs to be be seen blown-up, and I'm not sure if this is going to be viable for much longer. Everything we make runs its course, and maybe that's an end for cinema.
― xyzzzz__, Sunday, 12 March 2023 09:43 (two weeks ago) link
― an icon of a worried-looking, long-haired, bespectacled man (C. Grisso/McCain), Sunday, 12 March 2023 14:57 (two weeks ago) link
Excellent Sunday fare.
― Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 12 March 2023 15:01 (two weeks ago) link
― Dan S, Sunday, 12 March 2023 16:10 (two weeks ago) link
Wow. Thank you, that was a wonderful post to read!
― lilcraigyboi (Craigo Boingo), Wednesday, 15 March 2023 07:06 (two weeks ago) link
Thanks, just trying to put stuff down.
I've been thinking of the different fates of sex worker/oppression-y films in the S&S top 100.
- Dielman as no1- Wanda making it to the top 100 (not explicitly about a sex worker, but there is something here of a working class woman having v limited options to survive)- In the Realm of the Senses: not being in the top 250 is a big miss. It isn't about sex work as such but it details a working class woman and her ways of survival. Oshima is a male director, and there is sex in this that is more pleasing to the gaze, but I don't feel he is judging her. There is a world here. I should re-watch, it's one of my favourite films.- I also love Belle du Jour but it's not a favourite Bunuel. There is other Bunuel in the top 250 but not El, which really would fall in quite well alongside some of these films.
― xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 15 March 2023 10:46 (two weeks ago) link
Also a film called Taxi Driver that deals with some of that fairly brutally.
― clemenza, Wednesday, 15 March 2023 13:36 (two weeks ago) link
I love Taxi Driver but I'm not so sure it belongs. Feels like that serve as more of an element in the psychodrama that's going on around Bickle.
― xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 15 March 2023 19:05 (two weeks ago) link