News from Home ★★★★★

On July 18 we celebrated Sylviane's birthday. Without you.

Akerman captures the empty spaces of the zenith of New York and reaches a poignant fervor as a landscape observer, the focus on building an opposition between static automobiles and moving automobiles creates a tension of image; no direct comprehension can convey what a film as simplistic in nature as this can evoke, the titular 'news' from home stops feeling like news after a while and becomes another part of the mix, another noise lost in the crowd and the hustle of city life.

News From Home is at its best when you can feel the lack of identity Akerman feels, when you stop caring about the image and then realise you've stopped caring about the words too, and then it strikes you: 'why am I still watching?' And then it strikes you again: because you have nothing better to do. Akerman forces our hand to play directly into her thematic exploration by making us react in ways we wouldn't expect. Just as the passing characters in the film often stop and look at the camera for a little, this is a film down to how the viewer responds to it, and this is why you should see it alone. Get lost in a crowd of one, lose yourself in the mesh of people as the only constant is you.

Note: I viewed this with the subtitles slightly out of sync (couldn't get VLC to change the settings) but the constant vocal-subtitle disconnect made the thematic plausibility of alienation and dysfunctional evocation of the self even more real.

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