Chantal Akerman's
Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles

Chantal Akermanís masterpiece of 1970s cinema in a new 35mm print

Co-sponsored by the Departments of Film Studies and Women's Studies at Emory University

Delphine Seyrig as Jeanne Dielman  courtesy Paradise Films

Friday, October 23, 2009, 7:00 PM
White Hall 205, Emory University
Free admission

Brussels, 1975: a twenty-five-year-old director, a legendary actress, and a mostly female film crew produce a movie in five weeks at a miniscule cost. Its title consists only of the protagonistís name and street address. Almost every scene breaks cardinal rules of commercial cinema. Yet the enigmatic film has a powerful effect on audiences, and the rarity of its screenings only add to its mystique. Three decades later, Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles is considered by many to be a masterpiece of world cinema and is voted one of the top twenty films of the twentieth century by the Village Voice.

Rarely has there been a movie harder to describe than Jeanne Dielman, for the filmís emotional power and psychological depth are ingeniously achieved through minimal onscreen action. For almost the entirety of this three-hour movie, a middle-aged housewife goes about her daily routine: shopping, cooking, cleaning, and once each afternoon meeting her daily client for sex. All of these activities take place in real time Ė in one notorious scene, the camera stays with Jeanne for many minutes as she peels potatoes for her sonís dinner.

Over the course of three days, as the details of Jeanneís routines accumulate, the film draws us into an intense examination of her inner life Ė helped along by the brilliant cinematography of Babette Mangolte, the subtle clues in director Chantal Akermanís script, and a mesmerizing lead performance by Delphine Seyrig. But gradually, we see Jeanneís compulsively regular routine begin to break down, leading to a shocking conclusion.

Jeanne Dielman has long been recognized as a landmark work. Yet three decades after its release it has only now become available on DVD in America, and screenings in its original film format have been rare. As part of Atlanta Celebrates Photography 2009, the Film Love series is proud to present a new 35mm print of this classic film that continues to surprise and haunt audiences today.

Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce,
1080 Bruxelles (Chantal Akerman, 1975) 35mm, 201 minutes

White Hall Room 205
208 Dowman Drive
Emory University
Atlanta, GA 
Parking: FREE
printable parking map      directions      interactive map with parking

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