Chantal Akerman

Split Screen: Belgian Cinema and Cultural Identity by Philip Mosley

In Split Screen: Belgian Cinema and Cultural Identity, author Philip Mosley makes a salient and illuminating re-evaluation of a bifurcated Belgian cinema, not only through the reality of a federal state characterized by a decentralized government and regional autonomy, but also irreparably marked by occupation and war, and divided by a cultural heterogeneity that has… read more »

Nothing Happens: Chantal Akerman’s Hyperrealist Everyday by Ivone Margulies

In Nothing Happens: Chantal Akerman’s Hyperrealist Everyday, Ivone Margulies provides a comprehensive examination of the minimalist visual imagery, deliberate pacing, and recurrent themes of disconnection, wanderlust, isolation, and longing that define Akerman’s intensely personal cinema. Citing Akerman’s penchant for filming the rhythm of everyday life, and her de-emphasis of unique and significant events, Margulies proposes… read more »

Tomorrow We Move, 2003

In the film’s droll, double entendred opening sequence, a breathless woman, Catherine (Aurore Clément), speaks off camera in dulcet, anxious tone as she provides a series of guiding, seemingly appetent directions against the image of a grand piano craned precariously overhead, culminating with a stray tear that falls from her cheek at the point of… read more »

From the Other Side, 2002

A young man stranded in a Mexican border town recounts the vivid and tragic story of his older brother who crossed the border with a group of illegal immigrants into the U.S. only to wander for days in the disorienting wilderness – each night piling together for warmth and protection, and each morning, fewer and… read more »

La Captive, 2000

An outwardly fragile and introspective man named Simon (Stanislas Merhar) stands in a darkened room poring over an audioless film footage of a group of holiday revelers at a seaside resort in Normandy. Repeatedly cueing the film to the excerpt of a beautiful young woman, Ariane (Sylvie Testud) and a friend, Andrée (Olivia Bonamy) overlooking… read more »

D’Est, 1993

The opening image of D’Est is of an unhurried, stationary shot of a green hazed, obscured highway at twilight, as the intermittent hum and audibly shifting Doppler frequency of a distant, revving engine from an occasional traversing vehicle – some errantly never materializing on screen – provide the sole, false anticipation of a visual break… read more »

The Eighties, 1983

The decontextualized sound of a feminine voice repeatedly delivers the ambiguous, singular declaration, “At your age, grief soon wears off” against the dissociative sight of an extended duration black screen, as the unseen actress subtly modulates her articulated tone from somber resignation to pragmatic trivialization, to optimistic encouragement, and finally, to compassionate reassurance at the… read more »

Toute une nuit, 1982

Toute une nuit presents a series of brief, disconnected, near silent vignettes that capture the inherently intimate episodes that transpire throughout the course of human relationships. A woman (Aurore Clement) deliberates on placing a telephone call to an absent lover before deciding to hail a taxicab to his apartment. A man and a woman sitting… read more »

Les Rendez-vous d’Anna, 1978

Les Rendezvous d’Anna opens to a shot of an empty train station in an unspecified German city. In near silence, the passengers deboard a parked train and exit through the platform staircase, as a lone woman makes her way towards an empty telephone booth and stops to make a call. Moments later, she emerges from… read more »

News from Home, 1977

News from Home presents a series of abstract and fragmentary images of everyday urban life in 1970s New York City, accompanied by the distinctive narration of filmmaker Chantal Akerman as she dispassionately reads through her mother’s alternately affectionate, melancholic, and sincere, but maternally manipulative letters from her native Belgium. The film opens to the surreal… read more »