Co-presented by Women of Cinefamily & La Collectionneuse

Saute ma ville

A young woman cheerfully locks herself into her apartment—lets her cat out the window, seals the door and window with masking tape, washes the floor and walls with chemicals, eats spaghetti, dances in front of her mirror, turns up the gas on her stove—and turns her room into a pipe bomb. At eighteen years old, Chantal Akerman has already found her lifelong fixation on defining the modern condition through its banal material circumstances, her gleeful absurdity belying a graveness beyond her years.

Dir. Chantal Akerman, 1968, DCP (Restoration by Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique), 13 min.

Hotel Monterey

Hotel Monterey is a residence hotel in New York on which Akerman and art house cinematographer Babette Mangolte situate their gaze. The result, less a film than an arcane out-of-body experience, transforms this run-down Manhattan hotel into a hypnotic netherworld. The lobby is clean with granite floors. Men wear hats. Paint peels. People enter and exit an elevator. Chantal has a preternatural knack for drawing the eye to what it rarely sees: the negative spaces between rooms and furniture, moments of routine frozen outside of time. By capturing everyday life through mirrors and inhuman angles, and magnifying obscure urban signposts into cryptic hieroglyphs, Chantal transforms the regular events of a single-room-occupancy hotel into dystopian science-fiction.

Dir. Chantal Akerman, 1972, DCP (Restoration by Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique), 65 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!