Chantal Akerman Program at the Whitsell

LOOKING, REALLY LOOKING! The Films of Chantal Akerman

Friday, September 23, 7pm 
Whitsell Auditorium
LETTRE DE CINÉASTE, Belgium, 1984, (8mins., digital)
A rose is a rose is a rose, but it’s not an apple.
CHANTAL AKERMAN PAR CHANTAL AKERMAN, Belgium, 1996. (63 mins., digital)
I was born in Brussels and that’s the truth.
AUTOUR DE JEANNE DIELMAN, France, 1975. dir. Sami Frey, (78 mins., digital)
This program presents three films across three decades on the work of artist/filmmaker, Chantal Akerman. Akerman directs two of the films in which she interrogates herself as subject alongside the nature and raison d’etre of cinema itself. In “Lettre de Cinéaste” (1984), Akerman with actor Aurore Clément as a kind of stand-in or proxy asks, What is cinema for? Who is it for? If the Mosaic prohibition on making graven images includes film images, where does that leave a Jewish filmmaker? Akerman turns a commission for “Cinéma, de notre temps” from ARTE, the French German Cultural Channel, into a study of herself in “Chantal Akerman par Chantal Akerman” (1996) in which she discovers her own feminized sensibility and another way of seeing the world and self through a monologue accompanied by a montage of clips of her films. Edited by Akerman, the final film is Sami Frey’s documentary video “Autour de Jeanne Dielman” (1975) shot on the set of “Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles.” In one scene, Akerman and French actor and film director, Delphine Seyrig, are in the dressing room. In questioning Akerman on how she wants her to comb her hair, a frustrated Seyrig tells Akerman “when you explain something, you find you don’t want to explain it.”
All films in French with English subtitles and directed by Chantal Akerman unless otherwise noted.
UPCOMING: Friday, September 30, 8pm: LES RENDEZ-VOUS D’ANNA, 1978, and Saturday, October 1, 7pm: JE, TU, IL, ELLE, 1974. Recommended to be seen together. Before pursuing film, Akerman set out to be a writer. Akerman originally wrote these two films as short stories, rather than as screenplays.
LOOKING, REALLY LOOKING! is co-presented by Zena Zezza and the Northwest Film Center, and is curated by Sandra Percival with Morgen Ruff.
Film Screenings, October through November, Here
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LOCATION: Whitsell Auditorium, 1219 SW Park Avenue, Portland, OR.
CHANTAL AKERMAN: ARTIST PROJECT SEASON is a film and performative program which surveys the work of Belgian/French filmmaker Chantal Akerman, placing it within a conceptual, thematic and historical context at the intersection of film and contemporary art, through film screenings, staged performances and performative and discursive events.
Zena Zezza is a project directed by Sandra Percival.