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Hôtel Monterey

Hôtel Monterey. Chantal Akerman. 1973. ⚄

Oh! This is actually a silent movie. I was futzing around with the equipment to find out where the sound had gone.

Oops.

[half an hour passes]

Well, I’m kinda enjoying this? It is, for the most part, just static shots of hotel corridors where nothing is happening. We see some people in hotel rooms, but they are equally static… So when this happens, it’s almost shocking:

The shots themselves are fabulous: She’s got such an amazing eye for beauty in the mundane. (That said, she’s chosen a beautiful building to document: All the walls have high-gloss painting, and there’s very little decoration, and the architecture is so perfect. A totally undestroyed (probably due to having no money) original building.) But I’m sitting here wondering whether perhaps this would be better as a book of photography than a movie? And that’s, perhaps, not a good thing.

Even adding some ambient noise would have helped a lot, I think? I understand why she wouldn’t want to actually record at the hotel, because that’d make everything much, much more expensive, but you can add ambient noise in post (as she did in News From Home to great success).

[the end]

I do like this, and I think it’s successful at what it tries to do (probably). I was fascinated, and I want to visit that hotel that doesn’t exist any more. (Oh, it’s a Days Inn now….)

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