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Je, tu, il, elle (1974)

'Je' is a girl voluntarily lock up in a room. 'Tu' is the script. 'Il' is a lorry driver. 'Elle' is the girlfriend.

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Cast

Credited cast:
... Julie
... Truck-driver
... Girlfriend
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Storyline

For more than a month, eating only powered sugar, a woman tries to deal with a breakup: she paints her room twice, removes the furniture, writes and rewrites a letter to her lover, clarifying all she had said. She spreads the pages on the floor. She lies down and waits. Finally, her sugar eaten, she is hungry and leaves. She flags down a truck; she and the trucker drive through the dark, stopping at a diner and bars. He asks for a hand job, she complies. He talks about his wife, children, and sex life. She arrives at the flat of her lover, a woman, who tells her she cannot stay. She says she is hungry, so her lover feeds her then allows her to stay the night. They make love. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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27 December 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I, You, He, She  »

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Did You Know?

Quotes

Julie: When I looked up suddenly... there were people walking in the street. I spilled all the sugar on the letters on the floor... and lay down again... and waited. I waited some more for it to pass or for something to happen - for me to believe in God or for you to send gloves for the cold.
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Connections

Featured in Fabulous! The Story of Queer Cinema (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Nous n'irons plus au bois
(uncredited)
Traditional French
Lyrics by Madame du Pompadour
Music from the Gregorian 'Kyrie' of the "Mass of the Angels"
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User Reviews

 
Painfully Naked Honesty in Examination of Identity and Sexuality
22 May 2005 | by See all my reviews

Some use film-making as a tool to reflect themselves and search their identities. With her first important feature, Je, tu, il, elle, Chantal Akerman relays this tradition, which has been established and inherited mostly by generations of female filmmakers, from Maya Deren to Rose Troche and Jennie Livingston. Like Deren, Akerman combines a traditional narrative and surrealistic ingredients, but Akerman's surrealism is more true-to-life than Deren's, as seen in a sugar-only diet of "Je" or a wrestling-like foreplay between "Je" and "Elle." Painfully naked honesty in these scenes shows how seriously Akerman is in need of examining her identity and sexuality.

(The surface of the film extremely resembles Stranger Than Paradise by Jim Jarmusch, completed in 1983; the two films share the three-episode plot and the B/W medium shots by the fixed camera without panning/tilting/dollying. But this may be irrelevant for viewing this Akerman film.)


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