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Chantal Akerman: Contre L’Oubli/Against Oblivion
April 12, 2016 8:00 pm
An evening of rare filmic treats, a bar, an accordionist, a Yididish interlude, and a reception to follow. Presented as part of Chantal Akerman: Contre L’Oubli/Against Oblivion
– with a lecturette by film maker and programmer Courtney Stephens
LE 15/08 (1973)
Set in the wet heat and suspended time of a 15th of August (France’s main religious holiday in the summer, literally everything stops), Chris, a young woman from Finland has just arrived in Paris. Staying with a friend of Chantal Akerman, she utters a long, intimate monologue. She is filmed in static shots which monitor her unspoken anguish and idleness, moving from one room to the next. The young woman, through the repetition of empty and haunting daily gestures, becomes a pure “existential” figure.
BRUSSELS TRANSIT (1982, Dir: Samy Szlingerbaum)
“Brussels-Transit,” which was produced by Chantal Akerman, was the first Yiddish-language film made in Europe in 30 years. Written and directed by Samy Szlingerbaum (who co-directed 15/08), it is about his parents’ search for a home in the wake of World War II. It is an austere, death-haunted work, , made all the more so by the knowledge that it would be Szlingerbaum’s only feature; he died of AIDS in 1986. (adapted from The Jewish Week)
AGAINST OBLIVION (1991, Dir: Chantal Akerman)
A short piece commissioned by Amnesty International, Against Oblivion (Contre l’oubli) is about the murder of Salvadorean union activist Febe Elisabeth Velásquez.
Presented as part of: Chantal Akerman: Contre L’Oubli/Against Oblivion, the retrospective organized throughout Los Angeles in collaboration with Los Angeles Filmforum, Cinefamily, Veggie Cloud, Fahrenheit and Human Resources. Program organized in collaboration with Paradise Films and Cinémathèque royale de Belgique and presented with the support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and Institut Français, and with the support of the Consulate General of the Kingdom of Belgium.
Accordion accompaniment provided by Andy Favre!
Special thanks to Kalyane aka La Collectionneuse!