Chantal Akerman, the Belgian filmmaker, lives in New York. Filmed images of the City are accompanied by the texts of Chantal Akerman's loving but manipulative mother back home in Brussels. ... See full summary »
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.
Marcel Proust (1871-1922) is on his deathbed. Looking at photographs brings memories of his childhood, his youth, his lovers, and the way the Great War put an end to a stratum of society. ... See full summary »
In a 360° circular panoramic shot the camera slowly pans an entire apartment (or house). When it first passes the bedroom there is nobody there but each time it shows the room again Chantal... See full summary »
You have to read Proust to appreciate this movie. I imagine it was the most awful, boring treachery to subject someone to if they hadn't read La Captive. Ackerman is actually quite witty in portraying the mental restlessness of the characters, especially Ariane/Albertine constantly being caught in her poorly planned deceptions). In addition to this her visual portrayal of Proust's themes of desire and dissatisfaction are very poignant(although sometimes uncomfortable). An example being the bathing scene, where Simon/Marcel is most vulnerable and unselfishly sensual (I say unselfishly because of the contrast of the other sensual scenes where Ariane is sleeping) but this is only possible for him because of the distance and physical barrier between them. Ackerman is not entirely successful at putting Proust's La Captive on film, but she does make a beautiful, simplified attempt.
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