Chantal Akerman in 2012
|Born||Chantal Anne Akerman
6 June 1950
|Died||5 October 2015
|Cause of death||Suicide|
|Occupation||Artist, film director, professor, screenwriter, producer, cinematographer|
|Notable work||Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles|
Chantal Anne Akerman (French: [akɛʁman]; 6 June 1950 – 5 October 2015) was a Belgian film director, artist and professor of film at the City College of New York. Her best-known film is Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975). According to film scholar Gwendolyn Audrey Foster, Akerman's influence on feminist filmmaking and avant-garde cinema has been substantial.
Early life and education
Akerman was born in Brussels, Belgium to Holocaust survivors from Poland. Her mother Natalia (Nelly) had survived years at Auschwitz, where her own parents had died. From a young age, Akerman and her mother were incredibly close, and she encouraged her daughter to pursue a career rather than marry young. At age 18, Akerman entered the Institut National Supérieur des Arts du Spectacle et des Techniques de Diffusion, a Belgian film school. Akerman dropped out during her first term to make the film Saute ma ville, subsidizing the film's costs by trading diamond shares on the Antwerp stock exchange.
Early work and influences
Akerman claimed that, at the age of 15, after viewing Jean-Luc Godard's Pierrot le fou (1965), she decided, that same night, to make movies. In 1971, Akerman's first film Saute ma ville premiered at the Oberhausen short-film festival. That year, she moved to New York City, where she remained until 1972.
At Anthology Film Archives in New York, Akerman was impressed with the work of Stan Brakhage, Jonas Mekas, Michael Snow, Yvonne Rainer and Andy Warhol. She stated that Snow's La Région Centrale introduced her to the relations among film, time and energy.
Her feature Hotel Monterey (1972) and shorts La Chambre 1 and La Chambre 2 reveal the influence of structural filmmaking through these films' usage of long takes. These protracted shots serve to oscillate images between abstraction and figuration. Akerman's films from this period also signify the start of her collaboration with cinematographer Babette Mangolte, the director of photography on La chambre (1972), Hôtel Monterey (1972), Hanging Out Yonkers (1973), Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975) and News from Home (1977). In 1973, Akerman returned to Belgium and in 1974 received critical recognition for her feature I, You, He, She.
Akerman's most significant film, Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles was released in 1975. Often considered one of the great feminist films, the film makes a hypnotic, real-time study of a middle-aged widow’s stifling routine of domestic chores and prostitution. Upon the film's release, The New York Times called Jeanne Dielman the "first masterpiece of the feminine in the history of the cinema". Chantal Akerman scholar Ivone Margulies says the picture is a filmic paradigm for uniting feminism and anti-illusionism. The film was named the 19th-greatest film of the 20th century by J. Hoberman of the Village Voice.
In 1991, Akerman was a member of the jury at the 41st Berlin International Film Festival. In 2011, she joined the full-time faculty of the MFA Program in Media Arts Production at the City College of New York.
Akerman avoided labels and refused to have her work featured in LGBT film festivals, saying she found them ghettoizing. About her film Je Tu Il Elle, Akerman said: I wrote a story that I liked. Everybody thought it was political. But it was a normal love story. It's not a feminist movie. I'm not saying it's a gay movie. If I did, then you go to it with preconceived notions. According to the book Images in the Dark by Raymond Murray, Akerman refused to have her work ghettoized and denied the New York Gay Film Festival the right to screen I, You, He, She. "I will never permit a film of mine to be shown in a gay film festival."
Important solo exhibitions of Akerman's work have been held at the Museum for Contemporary Art, Antwerp, Belgium (2012), MIT, Cambridge Massachusetts (2008), the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel (2006); Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, NJ (2006); and the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2003). Akerman has participated in Documenta XI (2002) and the Venice Biennale (2001). In 2011 a film retrospective of Akerman’s work was shown at the Austrian Film Museum.
Akerman died on 5 October 2015 in Paris. Le Monde reported that she committed suicide. She was 65. Her last film was the documentary No Home Movie, a series of conversations with her mother shortly before her mother's death; of the film, she said, “I think if I knew I was going to do this, I wouldn’t have dared to do it." According to Akerman's sister, she had recently been hospitalized for depression, returning home to Paris 10 days before her death.
|1968||Saute ma ville||13 minutes||Blow up My Town|
|1971||L'enfant aimé ou Je joue à être une femme mariée||35 minutes||The Beloved Child, or I Play at Being a Married Woman|
|1972||Hotel Monterey||65 minutes|
|1972||La Chambre 1||11 minutes||The Room 1|
|1972||La Chambre 2||11 minutes||The Room 2|
|1973||Le 15/8||42 minutes||co-directed by Samy Szlingerbaum|
|1973||Hanging Out Yonkers||90 minutes||unfinished|
|1975||Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles||201 minutes|
|1976||News from Home||85 minutes|
|1976||I, You, He, She||90 minutes|
|1978||Les Rendez-vous d'Anna||127 minutes||Meetings with Anna|
|1980||Dis-moi||127 minutes||Tell Me|
|1982||Toute une nuit||89 minutes||All Night Long|
|1983||Les Années 80||82 minutes||The Eighties|
|1983||Un jour Pina à demandé||57 minutes||One Day Pina Asked Me|
|1983||L'homme à la valise||60 minutes||The Man With the Suitcase|
|1984||J'ai faim, j'ai froid||12 minutes||segment for Paris vu par, 20 ans après||I'm Hungry, I'm Cold|
|1984||New York, New York bis||8 minutes||lost|
|1984||Lettre d'un cinéaste||8 minutes||Letter from a Filmmaker|
|1986||Golden Eighties||96 minutes||Window Shopping|
|1986||La paresse||14 minutes||segment for Seven Women, Seven Sins||Sloth|
|1986||Le marteau||4 minutes||The Hammer|
|1986||Letters Home||104 minutes|
|1989||Histoires d'Amérique||92 minutes||Entered into the 39th Berlin International Film Festival||Food, Family, and Philosophy|
|1989||Les trois dernières sonates de Franz Schubert||49 minutes||Franz Schubert's Last Three Sonatas|
|1989||Trois strophes sur le nom de Sacher||12 minutes||Three Stanzas on the Name Sacher|
|1991||Nuit et jour||90 minutes||Night and Day|
|1992||Le déménagement||42 minutes||Moving In|
|1992||Contre l'oubli||110 minutes||Akerman directed one short segment||Against Oblivion|
|1993||D'Est||107 minutes||From the East|
|1993||Portrait d'une jeune fille de la fin des années 60 à Bruxelles||60 minutes||Portrait of a Young Girl at the End of the 1960s in Brussels|
|1996||Un divan à New York||108 minutes||A Couch in New York|
|1997||Chantal Akerman par Chantal Akerman||64 minutes|
|2000||La Captive||118 minutes||Collaboration with Eric de Kuyper||The Captive|
|2002||De l'autre côté||103 minutes||From the Other Side|
|2004||Demain on déménage||110 minutes||Collaboration with Eric de Kuyper||Tomorrow We Move|
|2007||Tombée de nuit sur Shanghaï||60 minutes||segment for O Estado do Mundo|
|2011||La Folie Almayer||127 minutes||Almayer's Folly|
|2015||No Home Movie||115 minutes|
- "Chantal Akerman, Whose Films Examined Women's Inner Lives, Dies at 65". The New York Times.
- Foster, Gwendolyn Audrey, ed. (2003). Identity and Memory: The Films of Chantal Akerman. SIU Press. p. 204. ISBN 978-0809325139.
- Donadio, Rachel; Buckley, Clara (6 October 2015). "Chantal Akerman, Pioneering Belgian Filmmaker, Dies at 65". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
- Romney, Jonathan. "Chantal Akerman obituary". the Guardian. Retrieved 2015-10-10.
- "Chantal Akerman: My family and other dark materials". www.thejc.com. Retrieved 2016-02-27.
- Margulies, Ivone. "A Matter of Time: Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles". The Criterion Collection. Retrieved 18 August 2009.
- Margulies, Ivone (1996). Nothing Happens: Chantal Akerman's hyperrealist everyday. Durham: Duke University Press. p. 2. ISBN 0-8223-1723-0.
- Hoberman, J. (2001) [4 January 2000]. "100 Best Films of the 20th Century: Village Voice Critics' Poll". The Village Voice (reprint ed.). Reprinted by AMC.
- "Berlinale: 1991 Juries". berlinale.de. Retrieved 2011-03-21.
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- Murray, Raymond. Images in the Dark: An Encyclopedia of Gay and Lesbian Film and Video. Titan Books. p. 2. ISBN 9781840230338.
- "Chantal Akerman". Marian Goodman Gallery.
- Isabelle Regnier (6 October 2015). "La cinéaste Chantal Akerman est morte". Le Monde. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
- Julien Gester (6 October 2015). "Mort de la cinéaste Chantal Akerman". Libération. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
- Catherine Shoard (6 October 2015). "Chantal Akerman, pioneering Belgian film director and theorist, dies aged 65". Guardian. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
- Rapold, Nicolas (5 August 2015), Chantal Akerman Takes Emotional Path in Film About 'Maman', The New York Times, retrieved 24 November 2015
- "Paradise Films - Movies". Paradisefilms.be. 2014-01-30. Archived from the original on 2014-11-05. Retrieved 2016-02-21.
- "Berlinale: 1989 Programme". berlinale.de. Retrieved 2011-03-11.
- Sultan, Terrie (ed.) Chantal Akerman: Moving through Time and Space. Houston, Tex.: Blaffer Gallery, the Art Museum of the University of Houston ; New York, N.Y.: Distributed by D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers, 2008.
- White, Jerry (2005). "Chantal Akerman's Revisionist Aesthetic". In Jean Petrolle & Virginia Wright Wexman. Women & Experimental Filmmaking. Urbana: University of Illinois. ISBN 0252030060.
- Smith, Dinitia (26 April 1998). "Chantal Akerman and the Point of Point of View". The New York Times.
- Rosen, Miriam (1 April 2004). "In Her Own Time". Artforum International. Retrieved 14 May 2015 – via HighBeam Research. (subscription required (. ))
- Searle, Adrian (15 July 2008). "Smoke and mirror-images". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
- Gandert, Sean (28 August 2009). "Salute Your Shorts: Chantal Akerman's Saute ma ville". Paste. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
- Schenker, Andrew (15 January 2010). "Eclipse Series 19: Chantal Akerman in the Seventies". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 23 August 2010.
- McGill, Hannah (4 November 2012). "Leading the Way for the Flair Ladies". The Sunday Herald. Washington, D.C. Retrieved 14 May 2015 – via HighBeam Research. (subscription required (. ))
Media related to Chantal Akerman at Wikimedia Commons