Chantal Akerman

  • “To make films, you have to get up in the morning. So, I get up!” Chantal Akerman, Lettre de cinéaste
     
    From 1968 to 2015, the director endlessly “got up” for her work, making forty films, installations, books . . . Trained during her involvement in the New York experimental scene in the 1970’s, she invented a profoundly personal cinema, which modernised genres (the burlesque Saute ma ville, the musical Golden Eighties, the Proustian melodrama La Captive) through autofiction and a sensitive experience of everyday life, its duration and basic gestures. Keeping equidistance between upbeat and down, her portraits of women – herself in Je, tu, il, elle; Delphine Seyrig in Jeanne Dielman; Aurore Clément in Les Rendez-vous d’Anna – shed new light on interiors and interiorities, probing women’s and lesbians’ desires. From in-camera spaces to nomadic films (travel diaries, documentaries), her intimate stories tirelessly investigate History, starting with that of her mother, a Polish Jew who escaped the camps (D’Est, No Home Movie) and who she follows in death, a year after her passing. Her powerful work has impacted generations of feminists and artists, from Michael Haneke to Gus Van Sant. 

    • Cinema : Saute ma ville (1968) - L'Enfant aimé ou Je joue à être une femme mariée (1971) - La Chambre (1972) - Hôtel Monterey (1972) - Hanging Out Yonkers (1973) - Le 15/8 (1973) - I, You, He, She (1974) - Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975) - News from Home (1977) - Les Rendez-vous d'Anna (1978) - Toute une nuit (1982) - Les Années 80 (1983) - J'ai faim, j'ai froid (sketch de Paris vu par... 20 ans après) (1984) - New York, New York bis (1984) - Le Marteau (1986) - Portrait d'une paresseuse (1986) - Rue Mallet-Stevens (1986) - La Paresse (sketch de Seven Women, Seven Sins) (1986) - Golden Eighties (1986) - Les Trois Dernières Sonates de Franz Schubert (1989) - Trois strophes sur le nom de Sacher (1989) - American Stories: Food, Family and Philosophy (1989) - Pour Febe Elisabeth Velasquez, El Salvador dans Contre l'oubli (1991) - Night and Day (1991) - From the East (1993) - A Couch in New York (1996) - Le Jour où (1997) - Sud (1999) - The Captive (2000) - De l'autre côté (2002) - Tomorrow We Move (2004) - Down There (2006) - Femmes d’Anvers en novembre (2008) - Almayer's Folly (2012) - No Home Movie (2015)
    • Television : Aujourd'hui, dis-moi (1980) - Un jour Pina m'a demandé (1983) - L'Homme à la valise (1983) - Lettre d'un cinéaste : Chantal Akerman (1984) - Family Business: Chantal Akerman Speaks About Film (1984) - Letters Home (1986) - Le Déménagement dans Monologues (1992) - Portrait of a Young Girl at the End of the 60s in Brussels (1994) - Chantal Akerman par Chantal Akerman dans Cinéma, de notre temps (1997) - Avec Sonia Wieder-Atherton (2003) - À l'Est avec Sonia Wieder-Atherton (2009)

Films of their lives

“If that’s what cinema is, then I want to make films!” Chantal Akerman, on Pierrot le fou

This list stems from interviews with the filmmaker* and additional information provided by her close collaborators: editor Claire Atherton; cellist Sonia Wieder-Atherton; producer Marilyn Watelet; and her sister, Sylviane Akerman. 

 

* Mainly:
- “Une Cinémathèque imaginaire de Chantal Akerman”, interview by Frédéric Strauss for La Cinémathèque française (2000) : https://www.cinematheque.fr/article/1152.html 

- “Chantal Akerman: The Pajama interview”, by Nicole Brenez (2011): http://www.lolajournal.com/2/pajama.html

Their list of films

By clicking on the “commentary” pictogram on the left of some of the film titles, you will find further details and quotes.

Films available on LaCinetek

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