Hotel Monterey is a cheap hotel in New York reserved for the outcasts of American society. Chantal Akerman invites viewers to visit this unusual place as wall as the people who live there, from the reception up to the last story.

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New York City's Monterey is a residence hotel; the residents we see are older, most live alone. The camera, usually stationery, begins with a look into the lobby. The film ends with a panorama from the hotel's rooftop. There's no soundtrack. The lobby is clean with granite floors. Men wear hats. People enter and exit an elevator. The camera looks out from within the elevator as doors open and close. People sit alone and motionless in their apartments. There are long shots of empty halls. Paint peels. The flooring on upper levels is linoleum. Hall lights are florescent. Doors open a crack then close. The film provides the feeling of what it's like to live there. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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11 July 1989 (USA)  »

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Slow, Strange, and Not For Most People
27 August 2015 | by See all my reviews

If you dragged a person off the street, then showed them this movie, chances are they wouldn't like it. They'd probably find it to be extremely boring, and might even fall asleep. But, for experimental film lovers, and fans of the films of avant-garde filmmaker Chantal Akerman, there is some enjoyment of this hour long look at a cheap New York hotel and those who are staying there.

There is no sound, no characters, only images. It is like a Stan Brakhage film, but much slower. The camera usually stays stationary, and, when it moves, it moves very slowly and steadily. These images require a lot of patience from the viewer, even those who are already used to very slow, very experimental films. Some of the shots in this film are 5 minutes of hardly anything happening! But, I did find a lot of interesting things in the film.

The shots of this hotel are quite beautiful, and the camera movements are very creative, so, overall I'd definitely recommend it to fans of slow, experimental films. Anybody else should probably stay away.


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