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# 42

The Chantal Akerman complete retrospective continues...

Akerman 17: three short works

Thursday 12th February 2015, 7pm
ICA cinema

box office

Family Business (1984)

Commissioned by Channel 4 for Visions strand, which offered film makers and artists a carte blanche.

Every film maker must raise money for their project. Even the author of Jeanne Dielman is not exempt. Here Chantal takes the camera for a trip to Los Angeles, in search of a rich uncle who may have a cheque book. He may be rich, but will he be found?

Aurore Clément is welcoming, above all eager to get Chantal’s help with a rehearsing for her part in another film. The battle to pronounce “cheated” without the inevitable mispronouncing of a French speaker takes up all their energy. Her American companion, an actress, complains bitterly about the casting process, usually a matter of intimate meetings late at night. Meanwhile word is received, Chantal’s Uncle has gone to New York. Like Alice, Chantal must chase her white rabbit.

Cast: Aurore Clément, Coleen Camp, Chantal Akerman, Marilyn Watelet, lloyd Cohn, Leslie Vandermeulen

In English with some subtitled French.
Dir. Chantal Akerman, 1984, 18 mins

Ecrire Contre l'oubli (1991)
(aka Pour Elisabeth Velásquez, El Salvador)

Commissioned by Amnesty International as apart for a portmanteau project to high light the fate of the murdered, the detained, and the tortured.

Akerman’s contribution is dedicated to an El Salvadorian trade unionist, a mother of three, murdered by the US backed junta. Catherine Deneuve emerges from the calm of a Parisian night to deliver a heartfelt a plea for the significance of Febe Elizabeth’s life, that there be some remembering of her too short life and her orphaned children. Sonia Wider-Atherton’s cello weeps appropriately.

Cast: Catherine Deneuve, Sonia Wider-Atherton
Dir. Chantal Akerman, 1991, 4 mins

Portrait d'une jeune fille de la fin des années 60 à Bruxelles (1993)
(aka Portrait of a Young Girl from the Late Sixties in Brussels)

To quote Judith Mayne, who exactly captures the delightful manner and audacity of this delicious film:

“Chantal Akerman's 1993 film… is a beautiful and haunting evocation of female adolescence and its discontents desire, loss and the complicated, ambiguous relationship to the transitions between girlhood and womanhood. Central to the are the dynamics of a love that does not exactly dare not speak its name (according to Oscar Wilde's famous definition of homosexuality), but rather does not quite know how to speak its name. Portrait of a Young Girl is in many ways a coming out story, for the love of one girl for another moves the film forward :1nd structures its narrative development. But it will come as no surprise to those familiar with Akerman's work that this is no transparent coming out tale, and that the film resists any of the simple oppositions between inside and outside, past and present, before and after, which are suggested by the very term "coming out".

“Rather, this explores how lesbian desire is both shaped and repressed by the codes and conventions of heterosexual romance. On the surface, the could be described as a somewhat conventional girl-meets-boy tale. But what shapes the girl-meets-boy story is the simultaneous desire, for the girl, to connect to another girl and to tell stories. ln other words, this is a lesbian narrative with a difference; girl still meets boy, but that classical and timeworn plot is the pretext for the connection between two girls”.

Commissioned as part of the series: Tous les garçons et les filles de leur âge

Cast: Circé Lethem, Julien Rassam, Joëlle Marlier
Dir. Chantal Akerman, 1993, 60 mins


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A Nos Amours is a collective founded by film-makers Joanna Hogg and Adam Roberts dedicated to programming over-looked, under-exposed or especially potent cinema. A Nos Amours is a moveable feast that goes wherever and whenever opportunities arise. A Nos Amours invites film-makers and others to advocate and present films that they admire or would like to see on a big screen. A Nos Amours  believes in the value of watching film as a shared experience.

The Akerman retrospective is supported by the British Film Institute, Wallonie-Bruxelles International and ICA

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Programme supported by Film Hub London, managed by Film London. Proud to be a partner of the BFI Film Audience Network, sponsored by the National Lottery.



# 41

A Nos Amours is delighted to welcome to London the celebrated French writer and philosopher

Jacques Rancière

Intervals of Cinema I:
Rancière and Bresson in Dialogue
Friday 30th January, 2015 - 5.30pm-8.30pm
King’s College London
A screening of Robert Bresson’s Mouchette, followed by a discussion by Rancière of the film

We are delighted that Mark Betz of King's College London has agreed to serve as Chair/Discussant.

Intervals of Cinema II:
Rancière and Cinephilia in London

Saturday 31st January, 2015 - 1pm-4pm
Birkbeck College
Rancière and a panel in discussion about the concept of ‘cinephilia’

We are delighted that Oliver Davis of Warwick University - a Rancière specialist - has agreed to serve as Chair/Discussant for the panel, and that Erika Balsom of King's College London and Catherine Grant of Sussex University will join the panel for what is sure to be far-ranging and penetrating discussion


Please note, both events are sold out but a waiting list is provided via the ticket link. We hope that any unused tickets will be surrendered so that people on the waiting list can hope to attend. Both events will be video taped, and we hope to make these recording available on line.


For further Akerman screenings

see here