Chantal Akerman


The CityLit brochure always throws up about 15 things I want to do, and I can’t wait to be retired so I can join their book clubs and walking tours. Over the years I’ve gone to courses on medieval Sicily, the Art Deco expansion of the underground, Bollywood dancing (don’t give up the day job) and Indian head massage.

Last month, I took a one-day course on female film directors that turned into the most luxurious discovery of new art. The first film we saw, Jeanne Dielmann, blew me away. Chantal Ackerman made it when she was just 23 and there’s not a foot wrong.

Just watch this opening scene and how different it is from what we’d usually see:

The pace, the camera movement, the trust in the audience, what is seen and not seen, the illusion of real time – it’s completely convincing and by 9 minutes in you know so much already.

Interestingly, the women in the group all found it highly realistic and the men were all bored.

image of Chantal Akerman from

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