Toute une nuit

  • Directed by Chantal Akerman
  • Belgium/France/Netherlands/Canada, 1982, 90 mins., French

One summer night in Brussels, sweltering heat stifles the community, which draws people out of their comfort zone and into despair. Akerman explores a series of on-the-brink relationships—break-ups, reconciliations—in the context of this hottest night of the year, where defenses are built, but at the same time, are down. Nearly wordless yet filled with subtle meaning through a dense choreography of bodies moving through space and time, Akerman’s vision of modern love becomes a city symphony of the intimate space, in direct opposition to and subversion of the hyper-masculine city symphonies of the early 20th Century. Thrillingly shot in dark hues by famed cinematographer Caroline Champetier, Toute une nuit is a “subtle and relevant validation on the singularity of human existence—a chronicle of the irrepressible passion and vitality that lay beneath the surface of an alienating urban landscape.”—Strictly Film School. Fragments.”—Chantal Akerman, “The Pajama Interview.”

Genres: Drama

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.

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.

Le Demenagement & Le Jour Où

In a script written by Akerman, a man stands in his new apartment in a state of inertia and dislocation. Le Demenagement records the man delivering an extended soliloquy, surrounded by boxes of his possessions. He cannot bring himself to unpack, as he is preoccupied with feelings of indecision and regret. Akerman circumscribes the man’s