J’ai faim, j’ai froid & Portrait d’une jeune fille de la fin des années 60 à Bruxelles

CANCELLED — Young female characters take the lead roles in Akerman’s early films in which they seek their own identities and sexuality. In Portrait de une jeune fille (1993), a girl has decided to ditch school forever; she tears up her report card. At the movies, a boy next to her touches her leg with his; they talk, they kiss. These simple events are full of poetry, of confusion, discovery, ambivalence, insecurity, beauty. “It moves beyond being one of the great coming-of-age films; it is simply one of the great films.”—Dave McDougall, Mubi. In J’ai faim, J’ai froid (1984), two young Belgian women in Paris finish each other’s sentences and they smoke each other’s cigarettes. The girls eat almost continuously in the film and no amount of food seems to satisfy them. Though Akerman uses this insatiability for comedic effect, there are also strong feminist motives for so unreservedly displaying women absorbed in eating. Ultimately, both films explore relationships between young girls, as one conventional girl-meets-boy tale gives way to lesbian desire, and the other film portrays girls joined at the hip and ready for the challenges of the day—as women in the world—as long as they stick together.

Update 10/12/2016: Unfortunately, due to rights complications, our 10/17/2016 screening has been cancelled. We are very sorry for any inconvenience, and will be working to secure the films for the Spring 2017 section of our Chantal Akerman retrospective.

Other Films by Chantal Akerman

Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles

Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman and Saute ma ville are both depictions of a woman’s work in the home, but portray two women who approach domestic tasks very differently. The mother, Jeanne Dielman, performs sex work for male clients daily for her and her son’s subsistence. Like her other activities (bathing, knitting, and shining her shoes),

Rue Mallet-Stevens, Hôtel Monterey & Trois strophes sur le nom de Sacher (1972-1989)

This program presents three Chantal Akerman films from 1972 to 1986, including one of her first feature films made in New York which foregrounds her long takes of interior spaces that frame human encounters and memory of their presence or absence. The films also introduce Akerman’s first collaborations with the cellist Sonia Wieder-Atherton. Rue Mallet-Stevens

Lettre d’un cinéaste, Chantal Akerman par Chantal Akerman & Autour de “Jeanne Dielman”

This program presents three films across three decades on artist/filmmaker Chantal Akerman, who directs two of the films in which she interrogates herself as subject alongside the nature and raison d’etre of cinema itself. In Lettre de Cineaste (1984), Akerman with Aurore Clément as a kind of stand-in or proxy asks “What is cinema for?

Letters Home

CANCELLED—On 11 February 1963, Sylvia Plath, poet and author of The Bell Jar, thirty years old, married, with two children, killed herself. In 1975, Sylvia Plath’s mother, Aurelia Schober Plath, published Letters Home: Correspondence 1950-1963, an edited volume of her late daughter’s letters. In 1979, Rose Leiman Goldemberg wrote Letters Home, an off-Broadway hit which addressed the

D’Est (From the East)

D’Est is Chantal Akerman’s first documentary film shot on trips taken as the Soviet system was about to collapse, and echoes her legendary Jeanne Dielmann in its minimalist approach and long, uninterrupted sequence shots. Akerman has said she went ‘while there was still time’—what kind of time, nor whose time, nor if there is any elsewhere,