Screening of Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1976) by Chantal Akerman.
Introduction by Faculty Member Bérénice Reynaud.
“A portrait of female domesticity coming undone, of a woman who is both mother and whore, Jeanne Dielman became an instant landmark in academic circles, especially for feminist film theorists. It is no one’s idea of a commercial movie; it did not receive a New York theatrical run until 1983, at Film Forum, and it has never been released on home video in this country.
But it has long enjoyed canonical status among cinephiles and regularly turns up on critics’ polls of all-time great films. With “Jeanne Dielman,” Ms. Akerman forged a link between the high modernism of golden-age European cinema and the emerging trend of postm odernist deconstruction. Today the film’s observational strategies — its long takes and scrupulous framing — practically amount to a lingua franca of international art film, discernible in the works of artists from Portugal’s Pedro Costa to Thailand’s Apichatpong Weerasethakul to China’s Jia Zhangke. Among American independents, its descendants include Todd Haynes’s Safe, Lodge Kerrigan’s Claire Dolan and Gus Van Sant’s Last Days.” - Dennis Lim, The New York Times, 2009