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Chantal Akerman

Chantal Akerman

  • Belgian director, born in 1950 in Brussels and died in Paris in 2015.

    “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 (From the East, 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. 

  • Saute ma ville (1968) – The Beloved Child, or I Play at Being a Married Woman (1971) – Hotel Monterey (1972) – The Room (1972) – Le 15 / 8 (1973) – Hanging Out Yonkers (1973) – Je, tu, il, elle (1974) – Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975) – News from Home (1977) – Les Rendez-vous d'Anna (1978) – Aujourd’hui dis-moi (1980) – A Whole Night (1982) – Hôtel des Acacias (1982) – The Eighties (1983) – L'Homme à la valise (1983) – One day Pina asked… (1983) – Family Business (1984) – Im Hungry, Im Cold (1984)  Letter from a Filmmaker  New York, New York bis (1984) – Golden Eighties (1986) – Letters Home (1986) – The Hammer (1986) – The Sloth (1986) –Mallet-Stevens (1986) – American Stories: Food, Family and Philosophy (1988) – Franz Schuberts Last Three Sonatas (1989) – Three Stanzas on the Name Sacher (1989) – Pour Febe Elisabeth Velasquez, El Salvador (1991) – Night and Day (1991) – Moving in (1993) – From the East (1993) – Portrait of a Young Girl at the End of the 1960s in Brussels (1993) – A Couch in New York (1996) – Chantal Akerman par Chantal Akerman (1997) – Le Jour où (1997) – Sud (1999) – The Captive (2000) – Avec Sonia Wieder-Atherton (2002) – From the Outside (2002) – Tomorrow We Move (2004) – Down There (2006) – Falling Night in Shanghai (2007) –À l’Est avec Sonia Wieder-Atherton (2002) – Almayer’s Folly (2011) – No Home Movie (2015)

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) : 

- “Chantal Akerman: The Pajama interview”, by Nicole Brenez (2011):

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