Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles

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

What an intriguing experiment in space and structure. Jeanne Dielman is an ambitious, radically politicised piece of social realism. The mother, the lover, the housewife; Akerman explores the domestic and the sexual in an unconventionally static style. The discussion (or lake thereof) of the role of the woman in 70's society is presented in a predominately visual and rigorously structured schedule. When Paul Schrader wrote about the art of 'transcendental style in film', this is what he meant. The viewer is activated through the mundane. The camera is close, almost too close. The static imagery feels voyeuristic; almost invasive. The eye level shots of the laborious day-to-day detail the meticulous breakdown of household chores. There is something vaguely intimidating about the intimacy of the shots of Jeanne's home. I exhibited an audiovisual installation in 2014 about my childhood home; a piece that explored the passing of time through the minute details. Some of the audience responses I garnered from that piece were that of tranquility, but also intimacy as a catalyst for tension - I feel the same about Jeanne Dielman. Often the private is private for a reason; there is something intimidating about seeing everything on display, even the uglier details of a home can tell you a lot about a person.

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