Chantal Akerman - Rotten Tomatoes

Chantal Akerman



Dubbed by the Village Voice as "arguably the most important European director of her generation," Belgian filmmaker Chantal Akerman was known for making innovative films that often earned comparison to those of Jean-Luc Godard or Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Although she rejected the label of "feminist filmmaker," Akerman became a guiding light in making films about the real issues faced by women, employing an experimental, deeply personal approach to her subjects.



A disciple of Godard (who first inspired the then-15-year-old Akerman with his Pierre le fou), Akerman attended Brussels' INSAS film school and the Universite Internationale du Paris. She demonstrated her devotion to Godard with her first amateur short subject, 1968's Saute Ma Ville (Blow up My Town), which three years after its completion was entered in the Oberhausen Festival. Working on the fringes of show business in New York in the early '70s, Akerman became an enthusiastic participant in the avant garde film movement, putting her theories to good use in such European movie projects as Je Tu Il Elle (1974), Tout Une Nuit (1982), and Seven Women Seven Sins (1986).



In 1975, Akerman made her best-known and one of her most influential films, Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai de Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, a film that was barely shown in the U.S., but which generated considerable response in Europe. Filmed largely in real time, it was an over three-hour-long chronicle of mundane episodes from the daily life of a 40-year old woman who snaps when faced with intense emotion and commits a horrifying crime. This focus on activities and occurrences over traditional narrative and continuity is a typical feature of Akerman's films (the 1972 short Hotel Monterey consists entirely of shots of people walking in and out of a rundown New York hotel). She is also known for utilizing experimental compositions of light and architectural design, with detached, non sequitur soundtracks to underscore the "action."



In 1996, Akerman made perhaps her most mainstream film to date, Un Divan a New York. A romantic comedy about an American psychoanalyst and a Parisian dancer who agree to switch apartments, it starred William Hurt and Juliette Binoche. Three years later, Akerman ventured to Jasper, Texas, where she made Sud, a documentary about the horrendous killing of James Byrd, Jr., an African-American man who was savagely murdered by three white men. The film was screened at that year's Cannes Film Festival.



Her final feature was 2011's La Folie Almayer (Almayer's Folly), and her final documentary, No Home Movie (2015), was making the rounds on the festival circut when Akerman passed away, at age 65.

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
89% No Home Movie
  • Producer
2016
No Score Yet L'homme à la valise
  • Actor
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
2014
No Score Yet Dis-moi
  • Actor
  • Director
2014
91% Almayer's Folly
  • Screenwriter
  • Producer
  • Director
2012
No Score Yet 40 X 15
  • Actor
2008
No Score Yet State of the World (O Estado do Mundo)
  • Director
2007
No Score Yet Down There (Là-bas)
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
  • Actor
2006
64% La Captive
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
2003
60% From the Other Side (De L'autre Cote)
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
2003
No Score Yet Tomorrow We Move
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
2003
No Score Yet Sud (South)
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1999
No Score Yet Un divan à New York (A Couch In New York)
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1996
No Score Yet D'Est (From the East)
  • Director
1993
No Score Yet Nuit et Jour (Night and Day)
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1991
No Score Yet News From Home
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
  • Actor
1989
No Score Yet Eighties
  • Director
1989
No Score Yet American Stories
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1988
No Score Yet Window Shopping
  • Director
1986
No Score Yet Paris Vu Par....Vingt Ans Apres
  • Director
1984
No Score Yet Paris vu par... vingt ans après
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1984
No Score Yet Les Années 80 (The Eighties)
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1983
No Score Yet Un jour Pina m'a demandé (On Tour with Pina Bausch)
  • Director
1983
No Score Yet One Day Pina Asked Me
  • Director
1983
No Score Yet All Night Long
  • Director
1982
80% Les Rendez-vous d'Anna (The Meetings of Anna)
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1978
100% Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles
  • Neighbor
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1975
100% I, You, He, She (Je, Tu, Il, Elle)
  • Director
  • Julie
  • Screenwriter
1975
No Score Yet La chambre
  • Director
1972
No Score Yet Hôtel Monterey
  • Director
1972
No Score Yet Saute ma ville (Blow Up My Town)
  • Actor
  • Director
1968

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