Chantal Akerman: La passion de l’intime / An Intimate Passion

A presentation by Bérénice Reynaud.

In the words of French art critic Elisabeth Lebovici, “Chantal Akerman’s cinema is within [us],” … meaning that it addresses each of us individually, personally, intimately. If Akerman was able to do so to such an extent it is because she had allowed herself — not without risks — to be open to the silenced voices that struggled to speak within her. They were the voices that have haunted the children of Holocaust survivors in the bubble of silence where their parents, to protect them — and protect themselves — have trapped them. The voices of unrequited desires, that suddenly explode in pop singing, joyous dancing, depressive rituals, uncharted travels — the discreet lament of women that nobody listens to as they are absorbed in their repetitive tasks — the unheard cry of the man dragged to his death behind a pick-up truck — the sighs of illegal immigrants absorbed by the desert or the urban jungle — the monotonous footsteps of people waiting for the train, or some food, on a cold night. “When I shoot, I turn myself into a sponge,” said Akerman; she was becoming porous, a conduit for these longings, these joys, these sorrows, that merged with hers. Berenice Reynaud closely interacted with Chantal Akerman and those who knew and worked with her for more than forty years. Her presentation will provide a unique overview of the artist’s inspirations and work, as well as an opportunity for informal dialogue with three Portland respondents, including film scholar, Kristin Hole; writer, Sara Jaffe; and animator, Rose Bond.

Bérénice Reynaud is a French film critic, historian, and theoretician who has a joint appointment in the School of Film/Video and School of Critical Studies at the California Institute of the Arts. Reynaud is the Film/ Video Co-curator at the Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theatre (REDCAT) and she is a Program Consultant for The Viennale Film Festival and a Delegate for the San Sebastian International Film Festival. Reynaud was the main organizer of the Chantal Akerman film series “Contre l’oubli / Against Oblivion“ that took place across six Los Angeles cultural institutions (Spring 2016) and she edited the Senses of Cinema dossier “Chantal Akerman: La Passion de l’Intime /An Intimate Passion” (December 2015). She is the author of Nouvelles Chines, nouveaux cinémas (Paris, 1999) and A City of Sadness on Hou Hsiao-hsien’s film (London, 2002). Her essays have been published in Sight & Sound, French Films: Texts and Contexts, Chinese Films in Focus (UK), The Routledge Encyclopedia of Contemporary Chinese Culture, The New Urban Generation, DV-MADE CHINA, Film Comment, Afterall (USA), CinemaScope (Canada), Senses of Cinema (Australia), Cahiers du cinéma, Le Monde diplomatique, Libération (France), Meteor, Springerin (Austria), Nosferatu (Spain), among others.

Tickets to Dialogues events: $7 general, $5 artists and seniors, students free with ID  Donate what you can. No one turned away at the door.

DIALOGUES is Zena Zezza’s series of performative conversations on the ideas and influences within Chantal Akerman’s work, bringing together theory, scholarship and artists’ practices with LOOKING, REALLY LOOKING! The Films of Chantal Akerman.

DIALOGUES events are presented in collaboration with the Pacific Northwest College of the Arts at PNCA’s Mediatheque, 511 NW Broadway.

LOOKING, REALLY LOOKING! and DIALOGUES is co-presented by Zena Zezza and the Northwest Film Center, and is curated by Sandra Percival with Morgen Ruff.