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 factual and psychic dissonance between the Plath the public knew from her writings and work, and the dutiful one her mother wished to capture. Akerman’s 1986 film Letters Home adapted theater director Françoise Merle’s rendition of the play, staged in Paris in 1984. Letters Home is therefore an object passed from a poet to her mother, from her mother to a woman playwright, then to a woman theatre director, and finally to Akerman, a woman filmmaker. Letters Home elaborates Akerman’s personal and perpetual concern with communication and exchange between mother and daughter seen also in her film News from Home (1977). The cast for Letters Home, like the Paris theatre production, are themselves a mother and niece: Delphine Seyrig (who features in Jeanne Dielman) and Coralie Seyrig.

Unfortunately, the 11/7/16 screening is cancelled due to a subtitle issue with the projection copy. We apologize for the inconvenience and will work to screen the film during the Spring 2017 season of our Akerman retrospective.

Other Films by Chantal Akerman

Nuit et jour (Night and Day)

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

From the Other Side

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.

Sud

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.

Toute une nuit

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.

Almayer’s Folly

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.