Chantal Akerman

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Chantal Akerman
BornChantal Anne Akerman
(1950-06-06) 6 June 1950 (age 64)
Brussels, Belgium
OccupationArtist, film director, professor
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Chantal Akerman
BornChantal Anne Akerman
(1950-06-06) 6 June 1950 (age 64)
Brussels, Belgium
OccupationArtist, film director, professor

Chantal Anne Akerman (French: [akɛʁman]; born 6 June 1950) is a Belgian film director, artist, and professor of film at the City College of New York.[1] Akerman's best-known film, Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975), broke new ground and still exemplifies a dedication to the ellipses of conventional narrative cinema.[citation needed]

Early life[edit]

Akerman was born to an observant Jewish family in Brussels, Belgium. Her grandparents and her mother were sent to Auschwitz; only her mother came back. This is a very important factor in her personal experience. Her mother's anxiety is a recurrent theme in her filmography. Akerman claims that, at the age of 15, after viewing Jean-Luc Godard's Pierrot le fou (1965), she decided, that same night, to make movies. At 18, she entered the Institut National Supérieur des Arts du Spectacle et des Techniques de Diffusion, a Belgian film school. During her first term, however, Akerman chose to leave and make Saute ma ville, a thirteen-minute black-and-white picture in 35mm. She partially subsidized Saute ma ville from shares she sold on the Antwerp diamond exchange, procuring its remaining budget through her clerical work. In 1971, Saute ma ville premiered at the Oberhausen short-film festival.[2] That year, she moved to New York, where she remained until 1972.

At Anthology Film Archives in New York, Akerman was impressed with the work of Stan Brakhage, Jonas Mekas, Michael Snow and Andy Warhol. She states that Snow's La Région Centrale introduced her to the relations among film, time and energy. Her 1972 feature Hotel Monterey and shorts La Chambre 1 and La Chambre 2 reveal the influence of structural filmmaking through these films' usage of long takes. These protracted shots serve to oscillate images between abstraction and figuration. Akerman's films from this period also signify the start of her collaboration with cinematographer Babette Mangolte, the director of photography on Jeanne Dielman.

In 1973, Akerman returned to Belgium and in 1974 received critical recognition for her feature Je tu il elle. In 1991, she was a member of the jury at the 41st Berlin International Film Festival.[3] In 2011, she joined the full-time faculty of the MFA Program in Media Arts Production at the City College of New York.

Identity aesthetics[edit]

According to the book Images in the Dark by Raymond Murray, Akerman refused to have her work ghettoized and denied the New York Gay Film Festival the right to screen Je tu il elle. "I will never permit a film of mine to be shown in a gay film festival."[citation needed]


1968Saute ma ville13 minutesBlow up My Town
1971L'enfant aimé ou Je joue à être une femme mariée35 minutesThe Beloved Child, or I Play at Being a Married Woman
1972Hotel Monterey65 minutes
1972La Chambre 111 minutesThe Room, 1
1972La Chambre 211 minutesThe Room, 2
1973Le 15/842 minutesco-directed by Samy Szlingerbaum
1973Hanging Out Yonkers90 minutesunfinished
1974Je tu il elle90 minutesI... You... He... She...
1975Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles201 minutes
1976News from Home85 minutes
1978Les Rendez-vous d'Anna (fr)127 minutesMeetings with Anna
1980Dis-moi127 minutesTell Me
1982Toute une nuit89 minutesAll Night Long
1983Les Années 8082 minutesThe Eighties
1983Un jour Pina à demandé57 minutesOne Day Pina Asked Me
1983L'homme à la valise60 minutesThe Man With the Suitcase
1984J'ai faim, j'ai froid12 minutessegment for Paris vu par, 20 ans aprèsI'm Hungry, I'm Cold
1984New York, New York bis8 minuteslost
1984Lettre d'un cinéaste8 minutesLetter from a Filmmaker
1986Golden Eighties96 minutesWindow Shopping
1986La paresse14 minutessegment for Seven Women, Seven SinsSloth
1986Le marteau4 minutesThe Hammer
1986Letters Home104 minutes
1986Mallet-Stevens7 minutes
1989Histoires d'Amérique92 minutesEntered into the 39th Berlin International Film Festival[4]Food, Family, and Philosophy
1989Les trois dernières sonates de Franz Schubert49 minutesFranz Schubert's Last Three Sonatas
1989Trois strophes sur le nom de Sacher12 minutesThree Stanzas on the Name Sacher
1991Nuit et jour90 minutesNight and Day
1992Le déménagement42 minutesMoving In
1992Contre l'oubli110 minutesAkerman directed one short segmentAgainst Oblivion
1993D'Est107 minutesFrom the East
1993Portrait d'une jeune fille de la fin des années 60 à Bruxelles60 minutesPortrait of a Young Girl at the End of the 1960s in Brussels
1996Un divan à New York108 minutesA Couch in New York
1997Chantal Akerman par Chantal Akerman64 minutes
1999Sud71 minutesSouth
2000La Captive118 minutesCollaboration with Eric de KuyperThe Captive
2002De l'autre côté103 minutesFrom the Other Side
2004Demain on déménage110 minutesCollaboration with Eric de KuyperTomorrow We Move
2006Là-bas78 minutes
2007Tombée de nuit sur Shanghaï60 minutessegment for O Estado do Mundo
2011La Folie AlmayerAlmayer's Folly


  1. ^ Chantal Akerman Faculty Page at City College of New York
  2. ^ Margulies, Ivone (1996). Nothing Happens. Durham and London: Duke University Press. p. 2. ISBN 0-8223-1723-0. 
  3. ^ "Berlinale: 1991 Juries". Retrieved 2011-03-21. 
  4. ^ "Berlinale: 1989 Programme". Retrieved 2011-03-11. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]