CHANTAL AKERMAN: CONTRE L'OUBLI/AGAINST OBLIVION - La Chambre & Je tu il elle

Co-presented by Women of Cinefamily & La Collectionneuse

La Chambre

The experience of watching La Chambre—with uneasiness, a flood of contradictory thoughts, meditation, daydreaming—becomes its subject, as the camera silently roams Akerman’s apartment in a moving still life, in spirit more like a piece of music than a fragment of narrative film. It’s suspenseful—you might be surprised to find yourself anxiously awaiting the moment when Chantal finally eats the apple or when the camera gently stops and pans in the opposite direction.

Dir. Chantal Akerman, 1972, DCP (Restoration by Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique), 11 min.

Je tu il elle

Following Akerman’s wildly formative New York years (where she was drawn to Anthology Film Archives and the films of Michael Snow, Yvonne Rainer, and Jonas Mekas) she returned to Belgium and crafted two of her greatest works: Jeanne Dielman & Je tu il elle. Freed from the confines of narrative filmmaking, Je tu il elle sees Akerman beginning to explore the themes that would come to fruition in Jeanne Dielman. Julie (played by Akerman)’s intimate routine is broken by two sexual encounters, each shot with keen attunement to the viewer’s inherent voyeurism; “like her earlier movies, it was about estrangement, only this time depicted not through the absence of the physical and the sexual, faces and bodies, but through an emphasis on them” (Michael Koresky).

Dir. Chantal Akerman, 1974, DCP (Restoration by Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique), 86 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!