Rainer's Review of Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles
I kinda understand what makes this film artistically important or rich. I can't say though I'm a fan of this style.
Three and a half hour of housework maybe actually is the everyday life of millions of people, but this kind of storytelling (if you want to call it that way) is just a waste of the rich possibilites of the medium film. Of course, realistic filmmakers try to create something true and honest and all that stuff and I kinda respect them for their effort, but film essentially consists of framing and cutting and abandoning the latter doesn't make a better or truer film but a cripple.
Haneke came into my mind when I watched the first scenes of the film. He also uses long takes with static cameras, no music and only little dialogue. He tries to tell us something though, not only show us something that can't even really trigger imagination.
Maybe Jeanne Dielman is a highly symbolic film or an in-depth analysis could dig up various forms of interpretation, I couldn't see it though.
I really admire the effort and the meticulous narrative, but oh boy, this film drags along like a piece of gum on your soles. On the other hand you don't really miss anything if you take a piss in the middle of the life (I guess everything has advantages and disadvantages) but this shouldn't be the goal of a filmmaker imo (I look at you Vlado Kristl!)
Anyways, the final statement is quite powerful indeed, only that I was almost braindead because of the previous three hours of film when it finally occured. It caught me completely by surprise because I didn't think anything interesting would come up, but eventually Chantal Akerman shows some cynism (or genuine humour, if I think about it, this film is so sophisticated, no wonder I couldn't grasp it) and just dives into something so abnormal, considering the rest of the film, it almost gives the film Lynchian qualities.