Screenings & events in March:
Inspiring Eric Rohmer - a radio event on Resonance 104.4FM
Chantal Akerman:Je Tu Il Elle
The Chantal Akerman retrospective continues at ICA London with a very rare short and a chance to reassess Un divan à New York - a frothy comedy with a Hollywood cast.
Je Tu Il Elle - playing across the UK on March 17th!
A Nos Amours is delighted to be working with Picturehouse Cinemas to bring Chantal Akerman’s debut feature, her celebrated Je tu il elle, to screens across the UK. This initiative is also supported by the BFI and Wallonie Bruxelles International.
Aged only 18 Akerman travelled to the US after giving up on film school in Belgium. In New York she encountered Warhol, Snow and Mekas. She then made films that put her on the map, revealing an astonishing talent – taking the best of New York experimentation, blending it with an acute European feel for narrative, introspection and intensity of feeling. In her earliest film work we see Akerman's eye at work registering the transient, studying spaces that frame lived life – catching the feel and mood of hotels, rented rooms, urban back streets – and the people who move and exist within these confines.
Je Tu Il Elle (1974) was Akerman’s first feature-length film. Daringly, it is composed of long blocks of static black-and-white takes, coolly reminiscent of the films of Andy Warhol. Narrative takes time to register. She is in frame throughout - weaving a filmic weft that surprises and compels. The scene of this woman, naked and alone, compulsively eating sugar, is remarkable for its intensity, as is the footage of her arranging and rearranging the meagre furniture in her apartment. The woman hitchhikes, and rewards the truck driver with a sexual favour. Other notorious adventures follow.
As Andrea Weiss has pointed out, the “absolutely un-eroticised lesbian love-making scene must be credited for its courage in 1974, especially given that it includes the filmmaker in the scene”. Akerman with plain day lighting, super-realitic sound de-aestheticises love-making, making us aware as spectators of our own off-screen voyeurism. She never romanticises or filters what the lens sees.
Judith Mayne: “One could hardly find a contemporary woman’s film more saturated with authorial signature than Je Tu Il Elle”. It is perhaps the difficulty of this avant-garde re-representation of the female body that makes this film so memorable.
Cinemas confirmed so far:
Hackney Picturehouse; Stratford East Picturehouse; Greenwich Picturehouse; Harbour Lights Picturehouses, Southampton; Little Theatre Cinema, Bath; Regal Picturehouse, Henley-on-Thames; Phoenix Picturehouse, Oxford; Abbeygate Cinema, Bury St Edmunds; Cinema City, Norwich; Picturehouse at FACT, Liverpool; City Screen York; The Cameo, Edinburgh; Picturehouse at National Media Museum; Duke of York’s, Brighton; Clapham Picturehouse; Stratford-Upon-Avon Picturehouse; Ritzy Brixton; CCA Glasgow.
This initiative is supported by the BFI and Wallonie-Bruxelles International. Thanks to Chantal Akerman and Paradise Films.
Akerman 18: a short and a feature
Le jour où
Thursday 12th March 2015, 7pm
We have not seen Le jour où, and so eagerly anticipate this screening.
Akerman told Nicole Brenez in the Lola 'Pajama Interview' in 2011 that it is, "at its heart, a homage to Godard".
dir. Chantal Akerman, 1997, 7 mins
The plot of Un divan à New York can read like the outline of a 50s melodrama: a dour New York psychoanalyst Henry (William Hurt) decides to house swap his Fifth Avenue apartment for a place in Paris. He ends up in the bohemian home of a dancer named Béatrice (Juliette Binoche). She is as insouciant as he is dour, and messy as he is tidy.
But Henry’s patients love Béatrice, and she finds she really can help them. Coming home, Henry finds his world in superb shape. Even his dog is happier. Henry has the wit to lie on her couch.
Akerman’s confection has a lightness that is hard to catch if in a hurry. Good to watch some Lubitsch beforehand to get into the mood. Then think of Peter Bogdanovich talking about Lubitsch’s style (and imagine that he is describing Akerman: “Something light, strangely indefinable, yet nonetheless tangible… one can feel this certain spirit; not only in the tactful and impeccably appropriate placement of the camera, the subtle economy of his plotting, the oblique dialogue which had a way of saying everything through indirection, but also - and particularly - in the performance of every single player, no matter how small the role."
Cast: Juliette Binoche, William Hurt,
Dir. Chantal Akerman, 1996, 105 mins
For further Akerman screenings
Inspiring Eric Rohmer (1920 - 2010) /
Pierre Carlet de Chamblain de Marivaux
(1688 – 1763)
A live radio reading and discussion
on Resonance104.4FM FM and on-line
Wednesday March 11th, 7.30pm-9pm
Justine Waddell (actor and screenwriter)
Joanna Hogg (curator and film-maker)
Gareth Evans (curator of film at Whitechapel Art Gallery)
Jonathan Romney (critic and film-maker)
Anna Procter (actor)
Adam Roberts (curator and film-maker)
Who was Marivaux and why does he matter to lovers of Eric Rohmer's superb cinema?
The BFI are just coming to the end of a 2 month orgy of Rohmer - films that are adored by many for their poised dialogue scenes, where heart searching often leads to unexpected discoveries, where the human heart rarely if ever knows itself. Eric Rohmer's characterisations and plotting have been compared to that found in the plays of Marivaux - who straddled the 17th and 18th Centuries, and was best known for the drama he made for the Comédie-Française in Paris.
From his name comes the word 'marivaudage' - which indicates a comedy, with a romantic setting, nuanced dialogue and a concern for fine shades of feeling. This is achieved by means of deft and witty wordplay, perhaps of a rather precious kind. Which all sounds rather like a Rohmer film. This was first suggested by the critic Michel Serceau, although Rohmer resisted this claim in a 1994 Cinema de notre temps edition: Preuves à l'appui (see here)
This radio presentation offers a gathering of film writers, curators, actors and film-makers to read (very informally) through a play by Marivaux and then think about what is revealed - is Marivaux the source of the peculiar and distinctive style that Rohmer offered? The play selected is Careless Vows (originally Les serments indiscrets), translated by John Walters. With many thanks to Methuen.
A preview screening of Rohmer's Le rayon vert (The Green Ray, 1986), currently playing in various venues in a newly restored version, but also available on DVD, is recommended.