“The first masterpiece of the feminine in the history of the cinema” – New York Times, 1975
An “astonishing, compelling movie experiment, one that has been analyzed and argued over for decades” (Criterion), Chantal Akerman’s JEANNE DIELMAN stands, 45 years after its monumental release as singular masterpiece—like no film before it, and no film since. Reveling in a terrifying sense of domesticity, French enchantress Delphine Seyrig as Jeanne delivers one of the medium’s most demanding performances. And Akerman, as a director of subtlety and detail accomplishes more explosive drama with minutia and understated detail than the biggest of blockbusters.
Akerman and Seyrig invite viewers into the domestic abode of Jeanne Dielman—a single mother of a school-age boy. Taking place over three days, viewers watch Dielman in real-time go about her various domestic tasks—cooking, cleaning, mothering, and turning tricks in a postwar necessity. No subplots. No subsidiary characters. Just Jeanne in her sparse apartment, and that is more than enough. Employing an all-female crew, Akerman creates a mesmerizing self-contained, complex universe from within Dielman’s apartment. Using a Flemish colour palette of jadeites, creamy blues, and rich mahogany, Akerman bathes every inch of the film in beauty.
As Dielman progressively unravels, the film’s violent climax stands as one of cinema’s most enduring shocks. Like an Avant Garde realist horror, JEANNE DIELMAN is hypnotic and absorbing, and absolutely demands to be seen on the big screen.
Screening as part of Rebel Yell: 3 Feminist Masterworks.
2K digitally restored presentation courtesy Janus Films.
Featuring a burlesque performance Delicia Pastiche.
Friday, Jul 26 - 7:00pm