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  • From the Other Side

    From the Other Side 2002

    ★★★★ Watched 07 Oct, 2015

    A documentary from 2002 that is as timely now as when it first was released, From the Other Side looks at migrants from Mexico as they tell their stories. Alternating between long shots of the spaces that they move through, sometimes with people and sometimes without, we see time pass and the days go by as we hear more details about their lives. The calm of the empty spaces is offset with the heartbreaking stories delivered directly to the camera as Akerman gives us time to reflect and process what we've heard.

  • Seven Women, Seven Sins

    Seven Women, Seven Sins 1986

    ★★★½ Watched 07 Oct, 2015

    A compilation film from the 80s with seven woman each making a film about one of the seven deadly sins. Commissioned by German television, the filmmakers had total freedom to take whatever approach they wanted and they range from the very theatrical to conceptual to powerful. For me the reason for watching it was Chantal Akerman's segment, Sloth which features the filmmaker herself lounging around illustrating the concept. Maxi Cohen's segment on Anger is an intense documentary with angry people speaking with a surprising power. While overall some of the films are dated, it's an important statement by filmmakers working together.

  • Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles

    Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles 1975

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 06 Oct, 2015

    A startling and remarkable a achievement, Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles is a film that really shouldn't work due to the length and the extremely formal approach, but it is those elements that make it so utterly compelling. With a camera that never moves and frames that establish the spaces and routines that Jeanne is trapped within, it becomes a film that is filled with loneliness and dread as we see all the elements of her life.…

  • Almayer's Folly

    Almayer's Folly 2011

    ★★★★ Watched 06 Oct, 2015

    An adaptation of Joseph Conrad's novel, but transformed by Akerman into a film filmed with long pauses and quiet moments. Starting with a remarkable musical tracking shot and stabbing before jumping back in time, it's a deliberate and beautiful film that explores the spaces between the characters with a melancholy mood.

  • La chambre

    La chambre 1972

    ★★★★ Watched 06 Oct, 2015

    A simple experimental short from Akerman with the camera in one room rotating around in one direction and then the other. We explore the space and see Akerman herself in bed doing different things. The more we watch, the more we see.

  • Miller's Crossing

    Miller's Crossing 1990

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 04 Oct, 2015

    A perfect film from the first frame to the last, Miller's Crossing is something that I can always watch. It's a complex story with subtle details accompanied by a complex and idiosyncratic style of speaking that is partially influenced by old film noir films and partially by the novels of Dashiell Hammett. I didn't realize what was happening in some of the subplots until I read the shooting script and watched the film many times. Visually it's gorgeous with a…

  • The Reconstruction of William Zero

    The Reconstruction of William Zero 2015

    ★★★½ Watched 01 Oct, 2015

    An intriguing premise about identity that is a little bit strained, but entertaining nonetheless. Exploring similar themes as with some other films (which I won't mention as that could spoil things a bit) and adding a thriller element keeps it interesting. A solid sci-fi thriller with a few shaky elements.

  • The Nightmare

    The Nightmare 2015

    ★★★½ Watched 01 Oct, 2015

    A look at sleep paralysis using the same sort of approach that he took with Room 237, The Nightmare tells the stories of people who have struggled with sleep paralysis and their explanations of what is going on with them. While for me the point of Room 237 was the subjectivity of watching films and the elaborate explanations of what was happening in Kubrick's film, the approach doesn't work as well with The Nightmare. The film sticks with the subjects…

  • Angèle and Tony

    Angèle and Tony 2011

    ★★★★ Watched 29 Sep, 2015

    Understated and enigmatic at times, Angèle and Tony tells the story of a woman who has a past that is alluded to who is trying to make a new life and figure things out. As the film progresses we find out more about her situation as she starts to connect with new people and re-establish her family relationships. Subtle and confident French drama.

  • Following Diana (Sendiri Diana Sendiri)

    Following Diana (Sendiri Diana Sendiri) 2015

    ★★★★ Watched 28 Sep, 2015

    An understated short with a great central performance, Following Diana is about an Indonesian woman who is faced with the prospect of her husband taking a second wife. We see how she deals with it in a short that is precise and moving.

  • Jacquot de Nantes

    Jacquot de Nantes 1991

    ★★★★ Watched 27 Sep, 2015

    A heartfelt and beautiful film about Jacques Demy from his long-time partner Agnes Varda. She blends memories and reenactments along with clips and footage of Demy into a complex portrait of a man who loved films and loved making them. Varda has a gift for creating evocative, idiosyncratic, and personal stories in uniquely cinematic ways.

  • They Came Together

    They Came Together 2014

    ★★★★ Rewatched 26 Sep, 2015

    A pitch-perfect parody of romantic comedies with an absurdist flair.