In Praise (or Not) of Chantal Akerman

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I just found this clip from D'Est, one of my favorite films.

Eazy, Sunday, 8 February 2009 23:54 (eleven years ago) link

er, D'Est.

Eazy, Sunday, 8 February 2009 23:55 (eleven 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 (eleven 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 (eleven 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 (eleven 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 (eleven 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 (eleven 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 (eleven 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 (eleven 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 (eleven 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 (eleven 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 (eleven 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 (eleven 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.

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 (eleven years ago) link

love the old lady on line @ post office in JD.

Dr Morbius, Monday, 9 February 2009 21:12 (eleven years ago) link

i have asked for a title correction.

jed_, Monday, 9 February 2009 21:18 (eleven years ago) link

thread title, i mean.

jed_, Monday, 9 February 2009 21:18 (eleven years ago) link

that was quick! thanks tehresa!

jed_, Monday, 9 February 2009 21:21 (eleven 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 (eleven 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 (eleven 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 (eleven 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 (eleven years ago) link

three months pass...

Watched this last night:

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Y9HKWY6JL._SS500_.jpg

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 (eleven years ago) link

Coming in August (the 25th to be exact)

http://www.criterionforum.org/images/484_box_348x490.jpg

The Wild Shirtless Lyrics of Mark Farner (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 5 June 2009 16:56 (eleven years ago) link

News From Home, is the one I'm keen on, predictably.

admrl, Friday, 5 June 2009 17:59 (eleven years ago) link

xpost

Bout time! Arguably the greatest film ever made. And what a great cover!

Kevin John Bozelka, Friday, 5 June 2009 21:06 (eleven years ago) link

Terrific news!!

xyzzzz__, Friday, 5 June 2009 21:31 (eleven years ago) link

four months pass...

Coming In January

Roomful of Moogs (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 16 October 2009 14:03 (ten 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 (ten years ago) link

get ready for a wiiiiiild ride

banned, on the run (s1ocki), Friday, 16 October 2009 22:40 (ten years ago) link

Hahaha.

M. Grissom/DeShields (jaymc), Friday, 16 October 2009 22:46 (ten 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 (ten years ago) link

i never entered that meatloaf contest :(

banned, on the run (s1ocki), Friday, 16 October 2009 23:03 (ten years ago) link

booooooooooo

Your Favorite Saturday Night Thing (Dr Morbius), Friday, 16 October 2009 23:04 (ten 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 (ten years ago) link

Akerman.

The Perfect Weapon 2, Saturday, 17 October 2009 15:24 (ten years ago) link

AKERMAN!!!

banned, on the run (s1ocki), Saturday, 17 October 2009 22:42 (ten years ago) link

two months pass...

anyone ever see toute une nuit? seems kind of hard to.

high-five machine (schlump), Friday, 8 January 2010 21:24 (ten 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 (ten years ago) link

schlump, i webmailed you.

jed_, Saturday, 9 January 2010 00:27 (ten 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 (ten years ago) link

two years pass...

"news from home" is really good.

tanuki, Monday, 16 January 2012 04:05 (eight years ago) link

six months pass...

new one showing in NYC this week

http://www.fandor.com/blog/daily-chantal-akermans-almayers-folly

Pangborn to be Wilde (Dr Morbius), Monday, 13 August 2012 20:08 (seven years ago) link

w/director in person iirc

, Blogger (schlump), Monday, 13 August 2012 20:28 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven 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 (seven years ago) link

one year passes...

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!

http://www.ica.org.uk/whats-on/nos-amours-chantal-akerman-9-un-jour-pina-demand%C3%A9-l%E2%80%99homme-%C3%A0-la-valise

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 22 May 2014 13:35 (six 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 (six 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

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 (six years ago) link

the silence of that film made it feel very experimental but it was also hypnotic.

Dan S, Saturday, 16 March 2019 04:33 (one year ago) link

Unless my scan of the thread lied, it appears I never linked the memorial piece my genius friend Kate wrote for Cinema Scope shortly after Akerman's passing.

http://cinema-scope.com/columns/deaths-of-cinema/

Simon H., Saturday, 16 March 2019 04:46 (one year ago) link

really great, thanks

Dan S, Saturday, 16 March 2019 04:58 (one year ago) link

Hotel Monterey has no story, it’s just a black and white film document of a residential hotel in NY in 1973, featuring mostly elderly people, with no sound, starting in the lobby and moving in to the elevator and up to individual rooms (open doors, closed doors) to the roof and its views

Dan S, Saturday, 16 March 2019 05:23 (one year ago) link

also lots of shots of fluorescent-lit corridors.

Dan S, Saturday, 16 March 2019 05:37 (one year ago) link

I once synced Hotel Monterey with Eno’s Discreet Music and it was just about perfect.

vmajestic, Saturday, 16 March 2019 14:19 (one year ago) link

two weeks pass...

I loved Les rendez-vous d'Anna

Dan S, Tuesday, 2 April 2019 23:47 (one year ago) link

so many of the shots in it had the subject in the middle of the frame, with the sides of the frame mirroring each other. it felt like it really matched the anonymity and dissatisfaction of the narrative

Dan S, Tuesday, 2 April 2019 23:49 (one year ago) link

have been watching her films over again and there haven't been any that seem like a throwaway

Dan S, Wednesday, 3 April 2019 00:33 (one year ago) link

six months pass...

Finally found this screenshot of Chantal akerman on Facebook pic.twitter.com/8uyDF7rsT3

— alexander iadarola (@aliadarola) October 9, 2019

flappy bird, Wednesday, 9 October 2019 17:30 (seven months ago) link

four weeks pass...

I loved Les rendez-vous d'Anna

Full retro happening in Toronto and I started with this. Bolstered by someone I briefly dated with the same name being in attendance. Great movie.

Simon H., Friday, 8 November 2019 03:09 (six months ago) link

it was very enigmatic

Dan S, Friday, 8 November 2019 03:15 (six months ago) link

Hoberman had a good review

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/14/movies/les-rendez-vous-danna-chantal-akerman.html

Dan S, Friday, 8 November 2019 03:19 (six months ago) link

I love the repeated visual of revolving flashing lights from outside that are reflected in the room in Jeanne Dielmann and still wonder what it is supposed to mean, It didn’t seem like it could be from a nearby neon sign, more like it was police lights, maybe a foreshadowing of the ending

Dan S, Friday, 8 November 2019 03:47 (six months ago) link

not really revolving so much as swinging back and forth

Dan S, Friday, 8 November 2019 04:07 (six months ago) link

I think I also loved this because I have a deep emotional attachment to long aimless train rides

Simon H., Friday, 8 November 2019 04:10 (six months ago) link

I was just thinking about this movie yesterday, it's been a while and I haven't thought about it much.
Was it a new DCP? a friend of mine in NYC saw it last year & I'm pretty sure it wasn't a print. I always forget it's in her Eclipse set.

has anyone seen Window Shopping / Golden Eighties? looks potentially awesome but I can't find it anywhere

flappy bird, Friday, 8 November 2019 05:12 (six months ago) link

it was a new "restored" DCP apparently

also have tix for:
Les Annees 80s
La Captive
and a double feature of Portrait d'une jeune fille de la fin des années 60 à Bruxelles and Chantal Akerman par Chantal Akerman

Simon H., Friday, 8 November 2019 05:23 (six months ago) link

I've only seen La Captive and the self portrait. I haven't read the Proust book, but I couldn't get into it. Very formal, but not like her other films, like dud Chabrol. I was bored by it, though not as much as Almayer's Folly.

CA/CA is cool, it's a clip show w/o much manipulation iirc. it's not like Beaches of Agnes (unfortunately)

flappy bird, Friday, 8 November 2019 06:02 (six months ago) link

spurred on by tonight's viewing, I just also picked up tix for Golden Eighties, No Home Movies and Demain on Demenage. (I had vouchers to use up by year's end.)

Simon H., Friday, 8 November 2019 06:25 (six months ago) link

I love the repeated visual of revolving flashing lights from outside that are reflected in the room in Jeanne Dielmann and still wonder what it is supposed to mean, It didn’t seem like it could be from a nearby neon sign

i looked into this last year but i forget if i found anything solid. since prostitution is legal in brussels i was wondering whether you were supposed to infer something about her work from her address - because of the name of the street i gathered that her building was in a commercial district (at least, no less of one than you see her walking through in the middle of the city) and figured the lights were neon signs.

j., Friday, 8 November 2019 06:37 (six months ago) link

"Golden Eighties" is kinda fun but ultimately inessential.
I got it on a twofer with "Toute une Nuit ("All Night Long"). First CA movie I saw. Fascinated me as a 17 yo but not sure whether I could sit through it these days.
"Rendez Vous d'Anna" is my favorite of hers. Rewatched it recently after 20 years or so and although I had forgotten most of the "story", i was amazed how the vibe had stayed with me all these years.

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Friday, 8 November 2019 09:15 (six months ago) link

You're one Nuit, Anna, Golden Eighties is phenomenonal range of possibility.

xyzzzz__, Friday, 8 November 2019 10:04 (six months ago) link

Toute une Nuit

xyzzzz__, Friday, 8 November 2019 10:04 (six months ago) link

Can’t speak to whether it is “essential” or not but Golden Eighties is really charming, has a great cast and is there anything else like it in her filmography? Pascal Bonitzer contributed to the screenplay.

Irae Louvin (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 8 November 2019 10:51 (six months ago) link

I feel like Tomorrow We Move is always absent from retros and the conversation about CA - it's essentially a screwball comedy, with Sylvie Testud as a chain smoking CA stand-in and Aurore Clement as her mom. I know there's that rom com she did with Juliette Binoche and William Hurt, afaik her only move in English. but Tomorrow We Move is really bittersweet and melancholy in a different way than any of her other movies.

flappy bird, Friday, 8 November 2019 17:56 (six months ago) link

I'll be seeing that one as well.

Simon H., Friday, 8 November 2019 19:15 (six months ago) link

I am in the middle of a deep love affair with the facebook exchange flappy bird posted upthread.

Heavy Messages (jed_), Saturday, 9 November 2019 00:31 (six months ago) link

🐐

flappy bird, Saturday, 9 November 2019 05:02 (six months ago) link

I am pitching an Akerman pod to my Lodgers co host.

Simon H., Saturday, 9 November 2019 05:11 (six months ago) link

Yes!

flappy bird, Saturday, 9 November 2019 06:04 (six months 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 (six months ago) link

six months pass...

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 weeks ago) link

That one rules.

k*r*n koltrane (Simon H.), Wednesday, 20 May 2020 20:51 (two weeks ago) link

ok guess ill do the free trial then

flappy bird, Thursday, 21 May 2020 00:21 (two weeks 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 (five days 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 (five days ago) link

Temptation to subscribe...rising...

flappy bird, Monday, 1 June 2020 17:40 (five days 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 (five days ago) link

And a slew of Dunye films I haven't seen.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 1 June 2020 17:46 (five days 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 (five days ago) link

Good to know, Simon, thanks. That means I can wait.

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.

I MUST SEE THIS IMMEDIATELY 😭

flappy bird, Monday, 1 June 2020 17:47 (five days 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 (five days ago) link

sort of a less 'royal' Jeanne Moreau

brooklyn suicide cult (Dr Morbius), Monday, 1 June 2020 17:52 (five days ago) link

Was just thinking of her as well.

Ernani and the Professor (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 1 June 2020 17:52 (five days 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 (five days 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 (five days ago) link

haha she's hilarious in that short

yeah Simon that triple feature sounds great

flappy bird, Monday, 1 June 2020 18:49 (five days 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 (four days 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 (four days ago) link


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