"whatever comes out of oppression is more interesting"
October 6, 2015 6:52 AM   Subscribe

Chantal Akerman the director of Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles died yesterday evening. Le Monde says she commited suicide. Her last film No Home Movie was shown last summer at the Locarno International Film festival.
posted by SageLeVoid (40 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
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posted by spacewaitress at 7:16 AM on October 6, 2015


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posted by PHINC at 7:22 AM on October 6, 2015


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posted by Mister Bijou at 7:22 AM on October 6, 2015


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posted by Pendragon at 7:23 AM on October 6, 2015


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posted by Cash4Lead at 7:24 AM on October 6, 2015


Yikes, the negative reviews of No Home Movie sound rough.
posted by Greg Nog at 7:25 AM on October 6, 2015


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More, from the Guardian. (Already linked, sorry.)
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:26 AM on October 6, 2015


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posted by Rustic Etruscan at 7:33 AM on October 6, 2015


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Jeanne Dielman is one of those amazing films that is so effective you can only bear to watch it once, but even so, always stays with you.

(As an aside, it's amazing how the french press just comes out there with: "Chantal Akerman s’est donné la mort, lundi 5 octobre au soir." Compare, for example, a David Foster Wallace or Robin Williams obit in the American press with their "died" or "was found dead".)
posted by dis_integration at 7:33 AM on October 6, 2015 [6 favorites]


Jeanne Dielman: astonishing movie, something of a shaggy dog. She learned from Andy Warhol how to make time a palpable substance.
Sad loss.
posted by homerica at 7:41 AM on October 6, 2015


If you're a Hulu subscriber, quite a bit of her work is streaming there commercial-free.

To help celebrate her life and work, I just added Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles to the first open slot in the Criterion On Hulu club calendar: next Friday, October 16.
posted by Ian A.T. at 7:42 AM on October 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


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I feel bad that I've never heard of her, I'll definitely be checking some of her work on Hulu.
posted by octothorpe at 7:47 AM on October 6, 2015


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posted by Monsieur Caution at 8:39 AM on October 6, 2015


I saw Jeanne Dielman recently - actually, I stumbled on it as I was looking for movies about emotional labor and women's work, in the wake of our emotional labor megathread. It was so thoroughly engrossing and moving - it's instantly jumped to my "top 10 of all time" list. I also think it's well worth watching for anyone who read or participated in that thread. I thought about recommending it there, but I didn't want to be churlish and interject a movie rec inside of an important discussion. But yes - absolutely see it, as soon as possible.
posted by naju at 8:42 AM on October 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


And, for Chantal --

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posted by naju at 8:42 AM on October 6, 2015


This is just horrible.

Chantal Ackerman was a brilliant and very challenging director. I mean, Jeanne Dielman is an absolutely amazing movie that radically turns film on its head, reimagining a story through a distinctly female gaze, and it can be very difficult to get through. It's long and it's superficially uneventful, but the length and the tedium are absolutely necessary. And despite being widely respected, it has its vocal haters. I'm pretty sure all of her movies do, so people booing her latest would almost seem expected.

It's breaking my heart that apparently, the vitriol got to her so much.
posted by ernielundquist at 8:45 AM on October 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


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posted by chicainthecity at 9:19 AM on October 6, 2015


Criterion Collection just announced a flash 50% off sale, if you're interested in Jeanne Dielman you should probably jump on that before it sells out.
posted by naju at 9:25 AM on October 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by languagehat at 9:26 AM on October 6, 2015


(Oh, and this box set)
posted by naju at 9:30 AM on October 6, 2015


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posted by allthinky at 9:43 AM on October 6, 2015


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So sad, considering how personal her latest film is...

Oddly enough, the film of hers that stuck with me most is apparently her most forgotten: Golden Eighties (aka Window Shopping), a camp comedy musical, set in a shopping mall. Here are some parts of it; and here two appreciations of its even less remembered precursor Les années 80 (aka The Eighties).
posted by progosk at 10:44 AM on October 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


My wife is a huge Chantal Ackerman fan. She introduced me to Hotel Monterey, which is just a brilliant, meditative movie. My wife was crying all morning after she heard the news.

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posted by vibrotronica at 10:57 AM on October 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by larrybob at 11:53 AM on October 6, 2015


Thank you for bringing up Golden 80s Progosk, I always thought it was an attempt to remake Umbrellas, or to critique the aesthetic of that
posted by PinkMoose at 12:25 PM on October 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by fraula at 1:18 PM on October 6, 2015


Jeanne Dielman was an brilliant study in how tension can be built in film, for one thing. The film is so hypnotic that eventually something as simple as dropping an onion is like a dramatic event.
posted by PHINC at 1:28 PM on October 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


(Interesting, PinkMoose - thanks.)
posted by progosk at 2:04 PM on October 6, 2015


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posted by theory at 3:23 PM on October 6, 2015


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posted by deeparch at 4:04 PM on October 6, 2015


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posted by frumiousb at 4:07 PM on October 6, 2015


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posted by oceanjesse at 5:43 PM on October 6, 2015


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posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 8:00 PM on October 6, 2015


My wife is a huge Chantal Ackerman fan. She introduced me to Hotel Monterey , which is just a brilliant, meditative movie.

Oh, wow. Thank you, and please thank your wife for me. I hadn't seen Hotel Monterey before, and probably wouldn't have for a while without that mention there, but I watched it just now, and it is something I've been looking for for a very long time.
posted by ernielundquist at 9:46 PM on October 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by Wolof at 5:36 AM on October 7, 2015


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posted by semmi at 11:47 AM on October 7, 2015




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posted by jlbartosa at 7:23 PM on October 9, 2015


Chantal Akerman’s films don’t have conventional plots with a beginning, middle and end. Yet nearly all the obituaries, following her death at the age of 65 this month, described how Akerman was inspired to make her first film at the age of 18 after watching Godard’s Pierrot le Fou, and said that Gus Van Sant cited Akerman as one of his major inspirations. Over and over, we were given her genesis as a filmmaker and the promise of her reincarnation, bookended by two credible male auteurs.

Her death, too, was cast as part of the narrative. Akerman committed suicide; the obituary writers implied it had something to do with her final public appearance in mid-August, when the preview of No Home Movie was booed at the Locarno film festival. But Akerman was never dismayed by criticism; she thrived on it. During the Cannes preview of the three-and-a-half-hour Jeanne Dielman (1975), now considered a classic of feminist counter-cinema, Akerman recalled the rebounding of fold-up seats as audience members walked out, and Marguerite Duras shouting on her way to the exit that Akerman was crazy. Akerman gave as good as she got until the film’s star, Delphine Seyrig, urged her to sit down. She never lost her taste for tragicomic confrontation; at Locarno this August, her response to the booing was to say: ‘It was a great film, no?’

This self-aware sense of humour was an abiding characteristic of Akerman’s public persona. In a recent interview, she laughed as she described how some of the films she made in New York in the 1970s had been financed with money stolen from the 55th Street Playhouse, the gay porn cinema in Manhattan where she worked as a cashier. (The padding from the dollar bills kept her warm walking home, she said.) Her first film, Saute ma ville (1968), was self-financed. To secure funding from the Belgian government for Jeanne Dielman, she submitted a much shorter script with a more conventional feminist message.
The beginning of On Chantal Akerman by Daniella Shreir on the LRB blog.
posted by Kattullus at 4:30 PM on October 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


Add me to the list of people whose tastes in cinema changed radically by watching Jeanne Dielman.
posted by Kattullus at 4:33 PM on October 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


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