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
Julie and Jack, recently arrived in Paris, are a young couple from the provinces who spend their days making love and their nights apart, while Jack drives a taxi and Julie walks the streets, waiting for him to come home. Their vague aspirations take a backseat to their constant passion. “Music” resonates throughout—Julie sings wordlessly …
An in-depth, probing, and sensitive look at migration specifically centered around the deserts of Arizona and the Mexican states of Agua Prieta and Sonora, which Akerman approaches with a characteristically nuanced perspective.
Investigating the brutal hate crime murder of James Byrd Jr., in Jasper, Texas, 1998, Akerman paints a typically meditative and ingeniously powerful portrait of a specifically American brand of racial hatred.
A sweltering Brussels night leads a diverse and restless cast of characters (led by longtime Akerman collaborator Aurore Clément) into the city’s streets, alleys, and bars for a series of chance encounters.
Akerman transports Joseph Conrad’s 1895 debut novel to the de-colonizing 1950s, in which a Dutch trader doggedly seeks elusive treasure and the jungles of Cambodia come alive.