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Les rendez-vous d’Anna

The Meetings of Anna. Chantal Akerman. 1978. ⚃

This is the final movie from the Chantal Akerman in the 70s from Criterion’s Eclipse imprint. It makes me want to watch everything from that imprint: It’s movies that (I’m interpreting here) that makes no commercial sense whatsoever to release, so they can’t using the normal Criterion methodology of restoring and adding extras. So we just get a box with a few discs with however many movies fit, on a certain theme or a director.

But the video/audio quality on this set has been great, even if it could have used some touch-ups here and there. I’m not complaining. It’s a great set of films.

OK, let’s watch this one; it’s the longest one (I think?) in the set.

[half an hour passes]

This is fab.

This is Akerman’s first real movie after her career-making classic Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (36th on the critics’ poll of 2012) movie, and it’s not totally unlike that movie. Except that it’s a lot shorter, and it’s about a movie director staying in a hotel instead of a housewife housewifing (and killing).

Which makes me wonder whether this is autobiographical to some extent: I.e., what happened to Akerman after Jeanne Dielman, 23 etc… For instance, the hotel guy calls the protagonist a “directress” (although that doesn’t bring out the terroristress in her).

But I’m totally fascinated! I’m writing this while pausing to go make another cocktail. The cinematography is so precise! Every shot is a delight.

[half an hour passes]

Well, OK, this isn’t Jeanne etc. It’s got so many beautiful scenes… but there’s been two monologues by two different guys that have been so boring that watching paint dry would have been 4x more fun.

Perhaps Akerman is making a point here? When guys are talking, everything gets really, really boring?

It could be.

If so: Well done!

[the end]

I really liked this… except the bits where the men were talking. Those bits were hard to not zone out to. So it’s not a perfect movie… on the other hand, most of the film was riveting. Hm. OK, I’ll ⚃ it.

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