spap1’s review published on Letterboxd:
this was… remarkable.
i’ve never seen anything quite like it, and i know right now that i never will again. even if i find something similar, nothing will be on this level.
Akerman was a mastermind. rest in peace, queen.
sometimes it may seem as though this world doesn’t wish us to be together.
there are times in life where, particularly with family, that you feel a disconnect with people, that it seems that you no longer have anything in common with a person, it may seem like their lives are beyond recognition for you any longer as yours turns to something else entirely, but does that mean that that should no longer be in your life?
it seems that the isolation that many of us feel throughout our lives casts us to an existence that we don’t truly have any control us, pushing us into a corner that there often seems no true way out of, but then how are we supposed to make the judgment of whether or not we have indeed fallen into this trap? it’s impossible for us to be able to truly tell if we ourselves are lost or the person who we seem to be losing that connection with has become lost. perhaps they are both lost, merely floating around in their day to day lives, continuing on as though everything had been normal and unproblematic, but this will always leave something lingering beneath the surface.
where uncertainty is present, doubt will feast upon your vulnerability. you come to think that everything is merely okay as it it, but the conscious mind often separates itself from the unconscious, merely at the unknown request of its beholder, for it seems that what is truly brewing beneath the surface is unlike anything that can ever be comprehended, they are feelings that could never be explained, and what would be the point of feeling them if we could never explain them? it seems that the preoccupation with understanding and simplicity allows us to fall into these traps.
a shame will always rise above all feeling however, as you will never truly be able to escape the feeling that you had been ignoring the cries for help, not only directly in front of you, in the things you hold, read, and the people you speak to everyday, but within your own mind also.
it’s been so long since i’ve seen an Chantal Akerman film, and i genuinely forgot how beautiful they are in every sense of their creation. her raw connection with whatever she does tends to have this feeling to it that just makes you want to cry, even if nothing much is said at all. while this is the case for many of her fiction films, this seemed to take an opposite turn, a turn towards the more vocal. a really wonderful change to hear the literal voice of Akerman herself, and also her the physical voice that lies within. we also have at least one thing in common: sunny weather depresses us.
what i love about the vocality of this film is all that is hidden by the sheer reality of it, all the pain and doubt that lingers beneath the surface, despite the facades being kept up, treaded along, and maintained merely for the sake of sanity. i think it’s both beautiful and harrowing how the human mind retreats within itself when things become too much for it, it seems that much of what goes on externally afterwards becomes a cry out, as though your soul has disappeared within you and is attempting to escape in the only way it knows how, through communication. what may seem wholesome has more to it than we could ever imagine, holding power beneath its surface that no one could ever truly unveil.
a big part of the film, i know, but i couldn’t go without talking about the cinematography throughout this entire film. i mean, i don’t think anyone could truly imagine it being quite the same without those images of 1970’s New York in all its gritty, wonderful, yet some how terrifyingly empty state, with its bustling streets full of empty hearts. but honestly, talk about one of the most photogenic cities in the entire world, of course, despite it being gross like any city. it’s almost like it was built just for the movies - i wouldn’t be surprised if i find out it was. but some of the shots in this film have an air to them that i’ve never quite felt from any other cinematography i’ve ever seen, apart from in the films of Akerman that is. for example, in Jeanne Dielman, there are those grand, yet empty shots. i know they have been done since, but never quite like this. it’s almost as though you could hear the second voice of Akerman as an extension of the explicit one.
i’m honestly aching to write more about this masterpiece, but it’s main beauties should be left for those watching to behold - sound in particular. but, it was honestly just one of the most beautiful pieces of art i’ve ever seen, and one i want to revisit very, VERY soon.