While she has made documentaries, romantic comedies, and even a period picture, Chantal Akerman is usually associated with the challenge and the thrill of “arthouse cinema,” with her 201-minute masterpiece, Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles standing tall over a distinguished career that continues to this day. Her trademark long-take style coaxes viewers onto the border between intense observation and daydreaming. This may also describe Andy Warhol’s cinema, except that a film like Jeanne Dielman is exquisitely planned and relies on the tension between sameness and incremental change. An early experimental film such as La chambre resembles similar works by Michael Snow, while later films, such as News from Home and D’Est, belong to a class of their own.
What to see?
- Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975) [Hulu] [DVD]
- D’Est (1993) [DVD]
- News from Home (1977) [Hulu] [DVD]
- Portrait of a Young Girl at the End of the 1960s in Brussels (1994)
- Almayer’s Folly (2011)
- La captive (2000) [DVD]
- Night and Day (1991)
- The Golden Eighties (1986)
- Les Rendez-Vous d’Anna (1978) [Hulu] [DVD]
- Je, tu, il, elle (1976) [Hulu] [DVD]
- La chambre (1972) [Hulu] [DVD]
- Hotel Monterey (1972) [Hulu] [DVD]