Specifics
Belgium, France [1975] - 202m
Genre
Drama
Directed by
Chantal Akerman
More info on
rating
1.0*/5.0*
Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles poster

Watches

July 31, 2020

1.0*/5.0*

My first Akerman, which is pretty unforgivable since I'm a Belgian myself. Then again, Akerman is hardcore cinephile material and not really that known over here. Not too surprising either because her work doesn't seem very accessible. Jeanne Dielman is by far her most prestigious film, though I'm not sure it was the best place to start.

The mix of an extremely dry and down-to-earth presentation with a more conceptual structure didn't sit very well with me. On the one hand Akerman seems to chase realism and mundanity, but the film runs very much on rails, and isn't really subtle about it either. It's the worst of both worlds and with a 200+ minute runtime, that's not pleasant at all.

The success of minimalism lives in the details, but the contrast between Dielman's machine-like routines in the first half and the way she slowly falls apart in the second is too on the nose, not to say incredibly repetitive. I even tried to read up on the intentions of Akerman afterwards, but that only seemed to make it worse. Bland cinematography, no soundtrack to speak of and mediocre to terrible performances. Very disappointing.