Akerman’s Mirror – An Introduction to the Films of Chantal Akerman
Chantal Akerman who died in October this year at the age of 65 was concerned with portraiture. In her films, installations, and writings, she portrayed women and their interiority, from her first film Saute ma ville (1968) to her final work, No Home Movie (2015).
Akerman has said many times in interviews that her themes are “language, documentary, fiction, Jews and the Second Commandment.” But she also said “I am a woman and I am Jewish, I’m a film-maker and I’m a writer, so you cannot just put me in one box”. Akerman is complex, she’s not easy to frame. No Home Movie (2015) reflects on the final months of her mother Natalia’s life, an Auschwitz survivor. Akerman documents their life together in her mother’s Brussels apartment. Her first major film, Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975) detailed the daily life of a mother in her modest Brussels home, which also recalls Natalia’s survivor’s sense of order and routine. It is a choreography, and this characterises all her works, where movement of the camera or the subject is measured and precise.
This presentation by artist and academic Ruth Novaczek will introduce Akerman’s film works and look at some of her key works in relation to these themes.
Ruth Novaczek studied film in art school and has been making what’s called ‘experimental’ or avant-garde films for more than three decades. Her themes are similar to Akerman’s; family and culture, cinematic language and the fine line between authorial filmmaking and documentary. Like Akerman, Novaczek believes that the moving image, in failing to fix the frame, escapes idolatry. While Akerman uses the long take in many of her films, Novaczek uses fast cuts and impressionistic narratives to convey a sense of herself in the world; aphoristic narrative, auto fictions. In addition Novaczek has written about film, the avant-garde, feminism and cinematic vernaculars. She has recently completed a PhD at the University of Westminster, she has made some twenty short films and installations and has shown her work nationally and internationally. She is a Visiting Research Fellow at CREAM University of Westminster, and an advisor at the Transart Institute, a low-residency MFA and PhD programme.
Analogue Ensemble is really excited to welcome Ruth to Ramsgate to give this introduction to Akerman’s work – we hope you can join us.
Tickets available through We’ve Got Tickets (see link above).
Doors/bar open – 6pm / Screening starts – 6.30pm.