A lonely widowed housewife does her daily chores, takes care of her apartment where she lives with her teenage son, and turns the occasional trick to make ends meet. However, something happens that changes her safe routine.
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.
A factory manager in rural Czechoslovakia bargains with the army to send men to the area, to boost the morale of his young female workers, deprived of male company since the local boys have... See full summary »
Akerman is no great filmmaker, whether in fiction or documentary
The film has long static takes that add absolutely nothing to the comprehension of a particular situation. As a matter of fact, I've read newspaper articles on the subject that were much more comprehensive and gave me a better feeling for the sufferings of the migrants than this rather pointless exploration of the walled-up border between the richest country and the Third world. One observer has it wrong: the five minute take along a seemingly endless line of automobiles is not on the American side, but on the Mexican side. The cars are queuing up to cross the border. Never does the camera cross the border during this tracking shot, which is evidently reminiscent of the initial shot of TOUCH OF EVIL (where it does cross the border). The first shot actually taken on the American side is probably the interview of the Mexican consul in Douglas.
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