Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles Screen 20 articles

Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles

1975

Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles Poster
  • To reach this level of ambiguity, the director feeds off the contradiction between narrative and rarefaction. . . . If Akerman’s oeuvre is a collection of genres and registers . . . Jeanne Dielman seems to absorb and resignify this life and this love for images and for the music in images, changing cinema to come, but also the cinema that had already happened. Cinema is only one and it finds one of its most beautiful and complete reflections on Jeanne’s ever-stretching loneliness.

  • Though it evokes experimental cinema in how it ingeniously uses a simple concept to confront the illusion of that simplicity, it’s also a brilliant depiction of real life as narrative... Only the late filmmaker’s second feature, JEANNE DIELMAN is almost daunting in its command of the medium—perhaps the only label that can rightfully be attached to it is “masterpiece.”

  • You know a film has you in its grip when the mere sight of a plate covered in excess soap suds sends a shiver down your spine. Shame at having waited so long to see this counterbalanced by the exhilaration of it being every inch as hypnotic and transformative as I'd been led to believe.

  • Jeanne Dielman (1975) is a structural film par excellence and a desperate cry against the prison of domesticity fully deserving of its acclaim, but there is much else in this rich body of work worth exploring, from its comedy to its varied subject matter to its ideas about art and filmmaking itself.

  • Akerman converts the story’s feminist psychology into choreographic spectacle, depicting housework, sex, and family life with a gestural and directorial precision that renders them monumental.

  • This topic has been covered before in many films, from Belle de Jour to the more recent Concussion. Happy homemaker by day, whore by night. But Jeanne Dielman breaks that mold, shatters it, forces us to endure the “homemaker” stuff, endlessly: each day the same, so that we watch the routine, we understand how it should go, we see her meticulous nature … and then, slowly, also mundanely, it unravels.

  • Simple in structure and composition, yet using that simplicity to find routes to narrative and political complexity, Jeanne Dielman stands its ground as the preeminent example of postmodern minimalist cinema.

  • Going to the movies is a voluntary submission to its ritual: no talking, no cell phones, no indiscreet fidgeting. Like Akerman behind the camera, we face Jeanne at eye-level. We’re punished—paying attention for so long is exhausting, confining—and rewarded—it’s the only way we’d be permitted into Jeanne’s rituals, to the private rhythms of one woman’s livelihood. We understand, intuitively, why she kills him; we understand, in our bodies, why it makes sense.

  • Pretty much exactly the film that's always been described to me, and pretty much exactly the response I always imagined I'd have - an amalgam of 'This is great, but surely the point's been made now' and 'But I guess it'd feel hypnotic on the big screen'.

  • The ultimate violent dissolution of [Jeanne's quotidian] actions in Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975) make it one of the most insurrectionary films about women that I have ever seen, and certainly one of the most celebrated examples of cinema in the feminine, or indeed of cinema of any kind.

  • Habit, "the most imperious of all masters," analyzed six ways from Sunday as a time bomb with a 201-minute-long fuse. Bressonian lampoons of Julia Child cooking shows, a masterpiece of absences, a prisoner polishing the bars of her own cage until a missed hour causes the universe to shift. Far from a release, orgasm is the ultimate loss of control.

  • The power of Akerman's film is that despite its static set-ups, its duration allows the flux to find purchase: the world's activity pushes disorder forward, creeping across the frame like a ripple. That is, the world stays the same—Jeanne's apartment life is a clock—and the social, as registered by Akerman's compositions, restricts movement.

  • Chantal Akerman’s masterpiece, a mesmerizing study of stasis and containment, time and domestic anxiety. Stretching its title character’s daily household routine in long, stark takes, Akerman’s film simultaneously allows viewers to experience the materiality of cinema, its literal duration, and gives concrete meaning to a woman’s work.

  • A mesmerizing, voyeuristic three-day journey into the unsettlingly mundane and mundanely private moments of existence, JEANNE DIELMAN turns what most movies leave out into a masterpiece of cinema.

  • The greatness of Jeanne Dielman is its ability to reveal the radical presuppositional leaps of faith an audience will make when deprived of concrete characters and motivations in a film (Abbas Kiarostami's films expose this phenomenon as well). The space that Akerman allows her audience to ruminate over their own interpretations and postulations is as generous and unlimited as the space she gives Jeanne (or rather, the space she allows Jeanne to give herself) is constricted.

  • By placing so much emphasis on aspects of life and work that other films routinely omit, mystify, or skirt around, Akerman forges a major statement, not only in a feminist context but also in a way that tells us something about the lives we all live.

  • In the final analysis, I respect Jeanne Dielman as a whole and even admire parts of it, but I do not feel that it breaks out of its formal shell into the realm of exquisite feeling that I have found over the years in the great works of Bresson, Godard, and Fassbinder.

  • Jeanne Dielman is as monumental a formal film as Michael Snow's La Région centrale; Akerman's landscape, however, is radically other. Seyrig's slow-motion breakdown, her leap into an abyss beyond teh kitchen sink, packs an emotional wallop entirely different from the products of earlier (mainly male) avant-gardes.

  • The film's first virtue, to me, is its uncompromising 'naturalistic" style and pace. It's almost like Greed. For a film [illegible] revolutionary you don't have to show a "conscious" heroine making pronouncements against woman's position today every five minutes.

  • The conditions of a minimal underground classic—that the shape of a film be discernible in any single frame; that a single-camera s trategy be the basis for the movie's metaphysic and any situation within the film; ...and that the field of examination be more or less static, durational and unromanticized—couldn't have found a better narrative than the one in which a life dedicated to perfection breeds its opposite, an apocalypse of sinister results.

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