Chantal Akerman

Chantal Akerman
Chantal Akerman
Born 6 June 1950 (1950-06-06) (age 61)
Brussels, Belgium
Occupation Artist, film director, professor

Chantal Anne Akerman (born 6 June 1950) is a Belgian film director, artist, and professor of film at the European Graduate School.[1] Akerman's best-known film, Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975), exemplifies a dedication to the ellipses of conventional narrative cinema.[citation needed]


Early life

Akerman was born to an observant Jewish family in Brussels, Belgium. Her grandparents and her mother were sent to Auschwitz; only her mother came back. This is a very important factor in her personal experience, and her mother's anxiety is a recurrent theme in her filmography. Akerman claims that, age the age of 15, after viewing Jean-Luc Godard's Pierrot le fou (1965), she decided to make movies the same night. At 18 she entered the Institut National Supérieur des Arts du Spectacle et des Techniques de Diffusion, a Belgian film school. During her first term, however, Akerman chose to leave and make Saute ma ville, a thirteen-minute black-and-white picture in 35mm. Akerman partially subsidized Saute ma ville from shares she sold on the Antwerp diamond exchange, procuring its remaining budget through clerical work. In 1971, Saute ma ville premiered at the Oberhausen short-film festival.[2] This same year Akerman moved to New York and remained there until 1972.

At Anthology Film Archives in New York, Akerman became impressed by the work of Stan Brakhage, Jonas Mekas, Michael Snow, and Andy Warhol. She states that Snow's La Région Centrale introduced her to the relationship between film, time and energy.¹ Her 1972 feature Hotel Monterey and shorts La Chambre 1 and La Chambre 2 reveal structural filmmaking's influence through their usage of extended-duration takes. These protracted shots serve to oscillate the films' images between abstraction and figuration. Akerman's films from this period also signify the start of her collaboration with cinematographer Babette Mangolte.

In 1973, Akerman returned to Belgium and, in 1974, received critical recognition for her feature Je tu il elle. In 1991, she was a member of the jury at the 41st Berlin International Film Festival.[3]

Identity aesthetics

According to the book Images in the Dark by Raymond Murray, Akerman refused to have her work ghettoized, and she denied the New York Gay Film Festival the right to screen Je tu il elle. "I will never permit a film of mine to be shown in a gay film festival."


Year Title Length Notes English
1968 Saute ma ville 13 minutes Blow up My Town
1971 L'enfant aimé ou Je joue à être une femme mariée 35 minutes The Beloved Child, or I Play at Being a Married Woman
1972 Hotel Monterey 65 minutes
1972 La Chambre 1 11 minutes The Room, 1
1972 La Chambre 2 11 minutes The Room, 2
1973 Le 15/8 42 minutes co-directed by Samy Szlingerbaum
1973 Hanging Out Yonkers 90 minutes unfinished
1974 Je tu il elle 90 minutes I... You... He... She...
1975 Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles 201 minutes
1976 News from Home 85 minutes
1978 Les Rendez-vous d'Anna 127 minutes Meetings with Anna
1980 Dis-moi 127 minutes Tell Me
1982 Toute une nuit 89 minutes All Night Long
1983 Les Années 80 82 minutes The Eighties
1983 Un jour Pina à demandé 57 minutes One Day Pina Asked Me
1983 L'homme à la valise 60 minutes The Man With the Suitcase
1984 J'ai faim, j'ai froid 12 minutes segment for Paris vu par, 20 ans après I'm Hungry, I'm Cold
1984 New York, New York bis 8 minutes lost
1984 Lettre d'un cinéaste 8 minutes Letter from a Filmmaker
1986 Golden Eighties 96 minutes Window Shopping
1986 La paresse 14 minutes segment for Seven Women, Seven Sins Sloth
1986 Le marteau 4 minutes The Hammer
1986 Letters Home 104 minutes
1986 Mallet-Stevens 7 minutes
1989 Histoires d'Amérique 92 minutes Entered into the 39th Berlin International Film Festival[4] Food, Family, and Philosophy
1989 Les trois dernières sonates de Franz Schubert 49 minutes Franz Schubert's Last Three Sonatas
1989 Trois strophes sur le nom de Sacher 12 minutes Three Stanzas on the Name Sacher
1991 Nuit et jour 90 minutes Night and Day
1992 Le déménagement 42 minutes Moving In
1992 Contre l'oubli 110 minutes Akerman directed one short segment Against Oblivion
1993 D'Est 107 minutes From the East
1993 Portrait d'une jeune fille de la fin des années 60 à Bruxelles 60 minutes Portrait of a Young Girl at the End of the 1960s in Brussels
1996 Un divan à New York 108 minutes A Couch in New York
1997 Chantal Akerman par Chantal Akerman 64 minutes
1999 Sud 71 minutes South
2000 La Captive 118 minutes Collaboration with Eric de Kuyper The Captive
2002 De l'autre côté 103 minutes From the Other Side
2004 Demain on déménage 110 minutes Collaboration with Eric de Kuyper Tomorrow We Move
2006 Là-bas 78 minutes
2007 Tombée de nuit sur Shangaï 60 minutes segment for O Estado do Mundo
2011 La Folie Almayer Almayer's Folly

Further reading


  1. ^ Chantal Akerman Faculty Page at European Graduate School
  2. ^ Margulies, Ivone (1996). Nothing Happens. Durham and London: Duke University Press. pp. 2. ISBN 978-0-8223-1723. 
  3. ^ "Berlinale: 1991 Juries". Retrieved 2011-03-21. 
  4. ^ "Berlinale: 1989 Programme". Retrieved 2011-03-11. 

External links

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