Monday April 4 @ 6:15 pm
Visual Arts Presentation Lab, SME 149
Chantal Akerman, Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, 1975, 197 minutes


The Chantal Akerman NOW Film Series will continue on Monday, April 4th at 6:15 PM with Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975). This quarter, the series will focus on films which informed Akerman's thinking on cinema, as well as her work with prolific French actress Delphine Seyrig (1932-1990). In addition to screening some of Akerman's most well-known films, we will also include seminal works by filmmakers Alain Resnais, Marguerite Duras, and Ulrike Ottinger, which feature Seyrig.

The title of Akerman’s masterwork film, Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, consists of a name and address. Delphine Seyrig, the remarkable French actress, elevates this cinematic portrait from a simple document to the embodiment of the housewife as allegory. What made the film revelatory, as Akerman has noted, was the unprecedented space it accorded the “daily gestures of a woman”—gestures which had traditionally been designated as “the lowest in the hierarchy of film images.” Cooking, cleaning, bathing—Seyrig’s measured movements and Akerman’s characteristic long takes create the illusion of real time, collapsing three days of Dielman’s life into three hours and seventeen minutes of screen time. Subjected to such exacting detail, the finite world of the domestic sphere becomes monumental.