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Toute une nuit (1982)

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Following over two dozen different people in the almost wordless atmosphere of a dark night in a Brussels town, Akerman examines acception and rejection in the realm of romance.



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Title: Toute une nuit (1982)

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Credited cast:
Angelo Abazoglou
Natalia Akerman
Véronique Alain
Paul Allio
Jacques Bauduin
François Beukelaers
Michèle Blondeel
Philippe Bombled
Ignacio Carranza
Christiane Cohendy
Nicole Colchat
Edith De Barcy
Dirk de Batist


Following over two dozen different people in the almost wordless atmosphere of a dark night in a Brussels town, Akerman examines acception and rejection in the realm of romance. Written by Matthew A. Wilson

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Official Sites:





Release Date:

27 October 1982 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Toute une nuit  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


Ma révérence
Written, Composed and Performed by Véronique Sanson
Taken from the album "Septième"
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User Reviews

Long journey into a night filled with fragments of love
24 January 2014 | by (São Paulo, Brazil) – See all my reviews

This was a little special. "Toute Une Nuit" ("A Whole Night") hyperlinks several characters during a long night in Brussels, dealing with their love affairs, longings for their distant loved ones, or romantic moments and sometimes some separations and some new encounters. Chantal Akerman reveals through those small fragments and small particles of life little things that seem essential in relationships, like they're mandatory. If you ever been involved with someone, you'll go through all the stages presented here: dancing together, run into your loved ones arms, the small talks, the kisses, the disorientation of many lonely nights when the other one is not around and so on.

In an almost wordless and very quiet experience, it's up to us to imagine what goes through the characters' mind and their psyche. When the words aren't needed sometimes is easier (and more fascinating) to form a whole scenario. In the most funniest sequence, a love triangle, formed by two men and one woman, decide to ignore each other at a restaurant and you already get the sense that choices must be made, they aren't satisfied with the current situation. Next thing you know, one of the guys ask "Who are you leaving with tonight?". No answer is given, then the trio part different ways. The other couples in the film are less complicated but they have their fair share of obstacles, pleasant moments.

While the idea seems interesting, it's execution is tiring and poor. There's far too many characters to track down, and the voyeuristic look from the distance strangely captured by an affected cinematography hurts the experience. The director, however, is authentic with her love observations almost as if making a documentary on the stages of romance without using clichéd formulas, or making us attached to just one story (not all of them are interesting but they work their way out to make a whole picture). With the silence, the darkness comes the light of reflection, we are bound to perceive love in a different perspective. It's constantly made up of saying 'I Love You' all the time, it's more about gestures, intentions, actions, even when the other one is not around and even then you might find it difficult to say what's need to be said (beautifully presented with the worried guy who finds it extremely hard to write a letter to his boyfriend, who just walked through the door, going on a trip). It's in the trying, and it's on the connection made. For all the little things, "A Whole Night" overcomes its problems and becomes an enjoyable picture. Perfect for a silent night. 6/10

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