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Directed by Chantal Akerman

France, Belgium, West Germany 1978 127 mins. In 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.