Les rendez-vous d’Anna

  • Directed by Chantal Akerman
  • France/Belgium/West Germany, 1978, 127 mins., French

Before pursuing filmmaking, Chantal Akerman set out to be a writer. Like her earlier feature Je tu il elle (1975), Les Rendez-vous d’Anna was originally written as prose, not a screenplay. Longtime collaborator Aurore Clément plays Anna Silver, a filmmaker who Akerman described as “a sort of mutant… perhaps a heroine of the future.” Anna is seemingly rootless and traveling from city to city to promote her work; a nomadism as a form of existential crisis. The film spans several days and three countries composed in trains, train stations, cinemas, car interiors and hotel rooms. Visits to Anna’s parental home in Belgium are fleeting affairs—confessional intimacies between mother and daughter are taken wherever they can. Pick-ups are easy-come-easy-go affairs and commitment is provisional. ‘Anna, where are you?,’ a voice enquires. Anna may not know or much care. “The reflexive, seemingly autobiographical nature of all these components needs no underlining, and this hall-of-mirrors effect can be superficially disorientating. But a true bearing is sustained by the luminous, painterly miracle of wonderful image-making, and the sure sense of a great mind at work, exploring the alienating topographies of contemporary Europe.”—Adam Roberts, A Nos Amours, London.

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,