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

  • Directed by Chantal Akerman
  • Belgium/France/United States, 84 mins., French

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 (1986) is an enigmatic film in which an ambiguous human drama takes place on an eponymous street where the modernist architect Robert Mallet-Stevens made a set of cubist houses; inside a woman is playing the cello. In Hôtel Monterey (1972), Akerman’s extended takes and tracking shots move through the empty corridors of the New York residential hotel of the same name, whose inhabitants are predominantly living on the fringe of society, elderly, and living alone. The film portrays a set of lines, colors, and perspectival illusions as the camera moves out from the lobby and ends with a panorama from the rooftop. While Hotel Monterrey creates an architectural study, likewise a psychic space, in Trois strophes sur le nom de Sacher (1989), the camera fixes a still life of an interior space framing a musician whose form is accentuated by the draping lavender fabric beside her. Cellist Sonia Wieder-Atherton plays Henri Dutilleux’s Trois Strophes, the ethereal, at times hesitant, but lyrical pieces he composed in tribute to the Swiss conductor Paul Sacher between the years 1972 and 1986. In French with English subtitles.

Genres: Documentary

Other Films by Chantal Akerman


Errant Soul: From East to West and In Between

Errant Soul presents two approaches to Chantal Akerman’s films, one stemming from her Jewish identity and the other from the notion of hybridity and sense of place in her work. Marat Grinberg considers the questions of Jewishness and Holocaust representation in Akerman’s films, concentrating on two documentaries, D’est (1993) and La-bas (2006) and her fiction film, Tomorrow


Saute ma ville & Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1968-1975)

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),

Lettre d'un cinéaste- Chantal Akerman

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

Letters Home

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,