Under Chantal Akerman’s watchful eye, a cheap New York hotel glows with mystery and unexpected beauty, its corridors, elevators, rooms, windows, and occasional tenants framed as though part of an Edward Hopper tableau. —The Criterion Collection
Dubbed by the Village Voice as “arguably the most important European director of her generation,” Belgian filmmaker Chantal Akerman is known for making innovative films that have often earned comparison to those of Jean-Luc Godard or Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Although she rejects the label of “feminist filmmaker,” Akerman has become a guiding light in making films about the real issues faced by women, employing an experimental, deeply personal approach to her subjects.
A disciple of Godard (who first inspired the then-15-year-old Akerman with his Pierre le fou), Akerman attended Brussels’ INSAS film school and the Universite Internationale du Paris. She demonstrated her devotion to Godard with her first amateur short subject, 1968’s Saute Ma Ville (Blow up My Town), which three years after its completion was entered in the Oberhausen Festival. Working on the fringes of show business in New York in the early ’70s, Akerman became an enthusiastic participant in the avant garde film… read more
Maybe if there had been sound (contrapuntal recordings of conversation in the hotel lobby might have been interesting), it would have at least merited consideration. About half way through, as a realized that I had regretted the half hour I'd wasted and didn't want to waste another one, I skimmed ahead and moved on with my life. 1/5
So I'm not the only one who watched this with music! I wish I'd thought of The Shining soundtrack. Oh well... What the hell did I just see? An attempt to create images without symbolism or meaning? An exercise in patience to look at the ordinary with zen focus? A 3-d world rendered in flat 2-d? Whatever this was it was definitely an "experiment" film. Honestly I zoned out throughout but the scenes in her room, the corridor dollies, the rooftop shots and any scenes with 70's era people in it were the most interesting to me because i enjoyed the compositions, colors, graininess, hypnotic movements and nostalgia in those parts.