Monday, April 11, 2016 @ 6:15PM
Visual Arts Presentation Lab, SME 149



Chantal Akerman
The Eighties, 1983, 40-min excerpt
The Golden Eighties, 1986, 96 minutes

The Eighties (1983) and The Golden Eighties (1986) represent Chantal Akerman’s engagement with the muscial genre. Departing from the musicals of the French New Wave, particularly the work of filmmaker Jacques Demy, she explores the fanciful world of love stories, dance, and theatricality in these two films. The Eighties—a documentation of the preparation of the musical, The Golden Eighties—deconstructs the genre with the filmmaker instructing her young cast about the expression of emotion on the face. The Golden Eighties consists of intersecting romantic pursuits in a 1980s shopping mall with the fashion of the decade. Three young women working in a hair salon are interested in the son of a clothing store owner, whose mother, Jeanne Schwartz, a concentration camp survivor (played by Delphine Seyrig) reconnects with an American soldier from WWII.


Central to the screening of these two films is an interest in examining Akerman’s work in music—she wrote all the lyrics for Marc Hérouet’s scores herself. It is also interesting to consider the reinvention of Seyrig’s Jeanne into an alternate context.