Less a character study than the cinematic tone poem of a soul stuck always w/in the parameters of a frame. Right away, relentless claustrophobic shots of Anna in doors, windows, compartments... Inescapably determined. Like her relations; or, rather, the monologues she elicits & the obliging performativity she offers in return, to signify care. And the nearly-numb ache for connection, still pushing us on, mechanically
Had some beautiful Akermanesque moments, but overall a bit too desolate and monotonous. Every interaction is heavy and bleak (except maybe the one with Anna's mother); everyone is despondent in his/her way. Missing some dynamic. Or maybe I just wasn't in the right state of mind to fully appreciate the elongation of time that comes with every Akerman film.
I probably didn't pay this movie as much attention as I should have, but the moments that I was present for were really interesting. Anna telling her mom in bed about her recent tryst with a woman, Anna rubbing Vick's on her lover's back (and going where he doesn't want her to go), Anna listening to her answering machine. It is to Akerman's credit that I feel like I know her better and understand her less.
This film is like watching the thoughts of an alive soul: intimate moments mixed with the natural passage of time. Chantal Akerman shows you how to enjoy long silences, fog in the city, train rides; how to find love in lonely places; how to turn loneliness into solitude; how to breath.
How do we communicate? Akerman is explicit about that here, where she communicates to us, through film, a tale of a woman who only communicates through film. Others project onto her as if a blank screen, and how telling that her moment of revelation comes in a darkened room where she doesn't even look at her mother? After revelation things remain the same.