Director: Chantal Akerman
The Melbourne Him Festival has been showing Chantal Akerman's highly original and demanding films regularly over the years ("Jeanne Dielrnan", "Les Rendezvous D'Anna", "Toute Une Nuit",) with varying success. Her latest, "The Eighties", is the most entertaining of her oeuvre so farand is likely to appeal to critics and broader audiences.
The film falls into two parts; an account of the proposed production work on a musical, and some filmed scenes from the proposed production. The longer 50 minute part of the film takes us behind the scenes and shows a videotaped record of the preparations from script readings to casting and the testing of the singers and dancers, individually and in groups.
Tongue-in-cheek, Akerman herself appears to sing a song during a casting session. The actually filmed sequences show musical numbers staged against a variety of backgrounds, such as a clothes shop and a studio street scene. Though the musical is far from finished, it appears from Akerman's closing remarks that she may have found backing for her project in Israel; "between a script and a movie one must go through a whole landscape".