Chantal Akerman Retrospective
Thursday 18th September, 7pm
A Nos Amours continues the retrospective of the complete film works of Chantal Akerman.
On 11 February 1963, Sylvia Plath, poet and author of The Bell Jar, thirty years old, married, with two children, killed herself. Then, in 1975, Aurelia Schober Plath, Sylvia’s mother, published selected letters from her daughter as Letters Home: Correspondence 1950-1963.
These letters then became the basis for Rose Leiman Goldembergs’s off-Broadway hit: Letters Home. In 1984, this was staged in Paris, directed by Françoise Merle. In 1986 Chantal Akerman directed this film version.
Letters Home is therefore an object passed from a poet to her mother, from her mother to a woman playwright, then to a woman theatre director, and finally to a woman film-maker. This is a remarkable heritage: an object passed from hand to hand, a form of exchange between generations of mothers and daughters, between sisters in spirit.
Hardly seen, but surely a work that elaborates Akerman’s perpetual concern with communication and exchange between mothers and daughters. Moreover, the cast for the Paris production, and for this film version also, are themselves a mother and daughter: Delphine Seyrig and Coralie Seyrig.
dir. Chantal Akerman
Le Grand Meaulnes (1967)
dir. Jean-Gabriel Albicocco, with Brigitte Fossey, Jean Blaise, Alain Libolt
Monday 22nd September, 8.30pm - Ciné Lumière (South Kensington)
Introduced by the writer Julie Myerson
On 22nd September it will be 100 years exactly since Alain-Fournier, author of 'Le Grand Meaulnes', was killed fighting on the Meuse in the war of 1914-18. To mark this tragic loss of life, we present the first attempt on film to put the novel that is so beloved of readers, writers and poets on screen. It is the 1967 version directed by Jean-Gabriel Albicocco. This is a delirious, subjective, hallucinatory cinema experience - not least on the big screen. The fluid camera in playground scenes once seen will never be forgotten. It also a faithful and loving rendering of the book.
Video with English subtitles. No runnable 35mm copy exists.
Alain-Fournier RIP: 3rd October 1886 - 22nd September 1914.
Akerman & Seyrig on set
Saturday 6th September, 11am (ends 7pm)
ICA Cinema - box office
£15, £12 concessions
A Nos Amours and Scalarama are delighted to present Béla Tarr’s touchstone of durational cinema – Sátántangó.
This legendary film, running at 7 hours 12 minutes deals with the collapse of a collectivised Soviet-era farm in rural Hungary. There is the scent of money in the air, and, in chaotic and changeable times, a yearning for meaning and salvation. At such times it is inevitable that prophets and Messiahs will be longed and waited for. The question is whether they will be false prophets, or mere charlatans. In the chilly, bleak rotten world of Sátántangó , who will follow who, and why, are left wonderfully uncertain.
These are ordinary human concerns, but they it is the vastness of the landscape , the featureless plains and endless horizons, and a terrifying, unremitting wind from nowhere, and a rain that falls without end that threatens to wash away all human hope. Signature long takes, often as long as the 10 minutes that a roll of film allows, combined with astonishing camera choreography offers a sublime cinema experience.
To commit to Sátántangó is to commit to the unforgettable and life-changing: these are the outer limits of cinema.
"Devastating, enthralling for every minute of its seven hours. I'd be glad to see it every year for the rest of my life."
Directed by Béla Tarr
Based on the novel by László Krasznahorkai
Cast: Mihály Víg, Putyi Horváth, László Lugossy
Cinematography: Gábor Medvigy
Music: Mihály Víg
Hungary 1994, 432 mins, 35mm
With special thanks to Arva International, transporters of the print.