Belgium / France / West Germany, 1978 (MIFF 1980)
Director: Chantal Akerman
In 1975, Chantal Akerman made Jeanne Dielrnan, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, and since then, she has been in the forefront of a developing feminist cinema. Les rendez-vous d'Anna Chantal Akerman's new film assumes the awesome task of laking the pulse of Western Europe while pursuing an autobiographical meditation on the deep-seated loneliness of the (woman) artist.
The film centres on Anna Silver who is, like Akerman, a Belgian film-maker in her late twenties who currently lives in Paris. It covers a three-day train trip she takes back to Paris from Cologne, where she introduces her film. Successivefy she meets a school-teacher, the mother of a former fiance, a young German immigrant, her mother and her regular boyfriend.
Each meeting has a flat, deceptively casual character and Akerman continues her respect for real-time (most noticeable in last year's Jeanne Dielrnan) by setting down sequences that are devoid of the usual punctuation of camera movements, fades or dissolves.
Akerman is determined to fashion her art from the simplicities of the everyday. Her characters are, as Jonathan Rosenbaum puts it, "unified only by their common banality". Akerman remains unrepentant in her approach. "If I have a reputation of being difficult, it's because I love the everyday and wan! to present it. In general, people go to the movies precisely to escape the everyday".
Melbourne Film Festival audiences will, for the second year in succession, have the opportunity to see another work by this young, hypnotic, individual and highly original film-maker.
Chantal Akerman — Born 1950
Feature films - Je Tu II Elle (1974), Jeanne Dielrnan (1975), News From Home (1977), The Meetings of Anna (1978).