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Cinema, of Our Time
Chantal Akerman by Chantal Akerman
Written and Directed by Chantal Akerman
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When asked to participate in the Cinema, of Our Time series, Chantal Akerman jokingly suggested herself as subject matter. She envisioned a film consisting solely of excerpts from her films, but when pressed by the producers to include footage of herself, Akerman grudgingly agreed, and divided the film into two parts.

The first part opens with Akerman in her apartment, reading from a text directly to the camera, describing the problems she encountered making this film. What emerges from this mise-en-scene is a funny, often personal, and always thoughtful confession from this extremely perceptive filmmaker.

Part two lets Akerman's films speak for her, taking clips from her extensive filmography and linking them anonymously until they form a new film. There are scenes from Jeanne Dielman, her best-known film, but also glimpses of several other works - forays into experimental film, comedic shorts, musicals, narrative features - including an early short that stars a very young Chantal.

"One of the finest filmmakers working anywhere ... an excellent introduction to her work. A Must-See."Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader

"Recommended. If viewers can put aside their notions of what a documentary about a filmmaker is supposed to do, they will find that Chantal Akerman by Chantal Akerman offers a surprisingly illuminating introduction to Akerman's work."Educational Media Reviews Online

1997 San Francisco International Film Festival
  

64 minutes / color
Release: 2001
Copyright: 1996
Sale: $298

Subject areas:
Cinema Studies, Women's Studies

Related Links:
Series Description
The Films of Chantal Akerman

Related Titles:
Chantal Akerman, From Here: A conversation with Belgian filmmaker Chantal Akerman about her films and her directorial philosophy.

From The East: Chantal Akerman retraces a journey from the end of summer to deepest winter, from East Germany, across Poland and the Baltics, to Moscow. "One of the 10 Best Films of the 1990s." — J. Hoberman, Artforum

From The Other Side: Using technology developed for the military, the flow of illegal immigration into San Diego has been stemmed. But for the desperate, there are still the dangerous deserts of Arizona, where Chantal Akerman shifts her focus.

One Day Pina Asked...: Chantal Akerman follows choreographer Pina Bausch and her dance company on a European tour.

South: The heart of this journey is the brutal murder of James Byrd, Jr in Jasper, Texas. But this is not an anatomy of his murder, rather, it is an evocation of how this event fits in to a landscape and climate as much mental as physical.

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