Jean Dielman 23 Quai de Commerce 1080 Brussels (1975)

Part of the ID the films of Chantal Akerman

Director: Chantal Akerman
Certificate: BBFC R18
Format: DVD

At the core this film lies the performance of Delphine Seyrig (Last year in Marienbad), whose command of gesture and timing make this observation of bourgoise life a choreographed nightmare. A film that is awesome for the steel tipped certainty with which Chantal Akerman imbues her material.

‘Jeanne Dielman’ is an epic of experimental cinema, and arguably one of the only true feminist films in existence.

Chantal Akerman lets us into the life of Ms Dielman until the viewer truly experiences her crushing reality as she does.For four hours we watch through static cameras as our protagonist makes a meatloaf, peels potatoes and sits staring into space.

Special mention has to made of the lead performance, as Delphine Seyrig literally lives her character in front of the camera. The viewers watch her carrying out her daily routine with the same detachment the character seems to feel, and it makes her a tremendously sympathetic screen presence.

Of course, Jeanne’s life has a more mysterious layer, which becomes revealed in the same dispassionate way. Inevitably, this reveal has tended to split audiences. Depending on who you talk to, you will hear the words ‘mindblowing’ or ‘gimmick’ in equal measure, and you will just have to experience this exercise in nihilism yourself to draw your own conclusion.

Other films in the ID the films of Chantal Akerman :


Film: Je Tu Il Elle (1974)

17 Mar 2011, 7:30 p.m.

Sexually frank, cooly passionate, Chantal Ackerman's extraordinary first feature, in which she plays herself exploring lines of flight. A room with powered sugar, the cab of a truck, the flat of a rejecting lover. Minimal in style, maximal in impact.


Film: Les Rendez-Vous D'Anna (1978)

24 Mar 2011, 7:30 p.m.

An itinary of hotel rooms, train stations interstitial spaces and chance meetings during which the protagonist comes home to spend a night with her mother. Another journey film a refusal to stay still, Chantal Akerman chooses motion


Film: Toute Une Nuit - Due To A Last Minute Problem, This Film Will Be Replaced By Another Film From Akerman: News From Home (1982)

27 Mar 2011, 7:30 p.m.

Toute Une Nuit screening will be replaced by another film from the same period by Chantal Akerman due to last minute unavailablity of the requested film. The new film will be NEWS FROM HOME (1976)