Les Rendez-vous d’Anna Screen 11 articles

Les Rendez-vous d’Anna

1978

Les Rendez-vous d’Anna Poster
  • Sadly, the third disc in the set, Les Rendez-Vous D'Anna (1978), treads the same ground [as Je tu il elle] in a much less radical fashion, playing out like a not particularly believable, conventional narrative about a film director (Aurore Clément) who feels alienated (surprise!) and listens to a lot of disparate people talk, talk, talk.

  • The impression of Akerman as a perpetual wanderer is confirmed by the autobiographical Les Rendez-vous D’Anna, which follows a filmmaker (Aurore Clément) from one European city to the next on a tour in support of her latest effort. It’s like the anti-8 1/2: Rather than the vibrant, chaotic “carnival of life” that besets Marcello Mastroianni in Federico Fellini’s film, Akerman’s director drifts through a succession of hotel rooms and train depots in a state of total detachment.

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    Film Comment: Amy Taubin
    May 03, 2016 | May/June 2016 Issue (p. 30)

    Les Rendez-vous d'Anna is not among Chantal Akerman's greatest films. But it contains an 18-minute sequence of some three or four scenes that remains as unsettling today as it was when I first saw it 38 years ago.

  • Akerman's use of long takes and open spaces delineates the gulf that separates her characters from their environment and from each other. While the atmosphere of anomie may be familiar from countless European art films, it is Akerman's intense emotionality, held desperately in check by her precise camera style, that makes this effort something special (1978).

  • Is Rendez-vous d’Anna a Buster Keaton film for the 70s without laughs, complete with s-f gadgets, robots, and lonely self-containment, or an old-fashioned European art movie of the 80s? Is it a movie about you (to paraphrase George Landow), or about its maker? All I know is, it looks great and it sure gives me the willies.

  • Akerman’s aim is not to distance emotion but to re-channel it: to have it come through not the usual, weeping face of an actor (as Raúl Ruiz once put it), but through the exact shade of a colour on a wall, the precise timbre of an atmospheric soundscape, the concrete line and position of a table or chair. In Rendez-vous d’Anna, there are many remarkable moments, scenes and passages of this sort that conduct such tender and intense feeling.

  • Strangers, estranged friends, and even lovers attempt to briefly connect with Anna, only to find her withdrawn and unaffected by their attempts at emotional (if not physical) intimacy. In the end, Les Rendezvous d'Anna becomes a poignant and emotionally conflicted examination of the artist as a perpetual exile and distant spectator of humanity.

  • [Anna's] encounter with her mom, structurally and thematically the center of the film, is the closest the character comes to establishing a connection with another person. By contrast, her tryst with Cassel, boasting the most physical contact, is the most disconnected of her affairs. Hugely affecting, the picture is further proof of Akerman as the ultimate dissector of '70s European dislocation, sharper (though less well-known) than Wim Wenders.

  • Rich with images and symbols of displacement, Rendez-Vous moves beyond the locked-down claustrophobia of Jeanne Dielman to evoke the languors and frustrations of an opposite but equally deadening mode of existence.

  • The elegant, odd beauty of Les rendez-vous d’Anna is its refusal to fit into any generic or political parameters; like its wandering protagonist, it’s unattached and searching.

  • Anne visits her mother (Lea Massari), yielding a quietly overwhelming vision of pure love, which is matched by the intimacy of their subsequent talk: Anne comes out to her mother.

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