Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles

Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles ★★★★½

Mundanity is one of cinema’s greatest and most secret tools. There is a kind of captivation in the mundane. The realness of every frame of Jeanne Dielman, the capacity to frame every human experience, even those that do not cinematically express the purpose of a story, but do so through sheer resilience of runtime. And it’s one of the more fascinating movies that I have seen. Not very much truly happens, to the end of a plot and purpose, but inside relatively normal actions and existence, everything happens. Life happens. And we spend a good chunk of our limited time here, engaging with this straightforward and everyday plight, and it produces more resonance, than say, populist crash and bang cinema or stylization. An absence of something is also a kind of stylistic choice, and mundanity, something wholly true and born of life, is as valuable an outcome as any other, and potentially, says the most about who we are.

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