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Chantal Akerman, From Here
A film by Gustavo Beck & Leonardo Luiz Ferreira
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In CHANTAL AKERMAN, FROM HERE, the renowned Belgian filmmaker sits down for an hour-long conversation about her entire body of work.

Throughout, the camera holds steady from outside an open door. The long, unbroken shot, and the frame-within-a-frame pay homage to Akerman's own unmistakable style ("I need a corridor. I need doors. Otherwise, I can't work", she says). But by shooting her in profile, the filmmakers provide a contrast to the signature frontality of her compositions (one of the many subjects covered in the wide-ranging interview) - an acknowledgement of this portrait's contingency also underlined by the title.

Akerman describes her first experiences with avant-garde film in New York, and, in particular, the lessons she took from the work of Michael Snow. She answers questions about her approach to fiction, documentary, and literary adaptation, covering everything from the early short LA CHAMBRE (1972) to the recent feature LÀ-BAS (2006). She explains her preference for small budgets and small crews, and the paramount importance of instinct and improvisation in her directorial process.

She is nothing if not forthcoming, candidly assessing her successes and failures, including an aborted attempt at writing at Hollywood screenplay. An image emerges of a filmmaker as assured and idiosyncratic as the work suggests. We see that behind Akerman's cinematic innovations there is not only a remarkable intellectual clarity, but an ethical commitment to making films in which the viewer can "feel the time passing-by in your own body", because, she says, "that is the only thing you have: time."

"Fascinating...Elementary, decisive, up to date. Her every word, her choice of adjectives, the tempo of poses, her French accent in English, all count." —Jean-Pierre Rehm, FID Marseille

"Her answers are always candid, at times a little heartbreaking"Melissa Anderson, Village Voice

BAFICI (Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Indepdiente), 2010
FIDMarseille, 2010
Viennale, 2010
Festival de Lima, 2010
Iran International Documentary Film Festival, 2010
  

62 minutes / color
Release: 2012
Copyright: 2010
Sale/Institutional: $298

This DVD is sold above with a license for institutional use and Public Performance rights. It is also available for home video use, click here.

Subject areas:
Cinema Studies, Cultural Studies, Film History, Jewish Film Festivals, Visual Arts, Women's Studies

Related Links:
The Films of Chantal Akerman
View a PDF of the Film's Press Kit


Related Titles:
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.

Almayer's Folly: Narrative film adaptation by Chantal Akerman of Joseph Conrad’s first novel, following a European man living in Southeast Asia and his half-indigenous daughter.

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