Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles

Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles

Cast: Chantal Akerman, Delphine Seyrig, Jan Decorte, Jacques Doniol-Valcroze

     
 

A classic of both feminist and experimental filmmaking, Chantal Akerman's marathon dissection of the life of Belgian housewife/mother/prostitute Jeanne Dielman (Delphine Seyrig) stays on the surface of the details of Jeanne's humdrum daily life, as if it were a real-life, real-time documentary of an ordinary life, in the tradition of Agnès Varda's earlier New Wave…  See more details below

Overview

A classic of both feminist and experimental filmmaking, Chantal Akerman's marathon dissection of the life of Belgian housewife/mother/prostitute Jeanne Dielman (Delphine Seyrig) stays on the surface of the details of Jeanne's humdrum daily life, as if it were a real-life, real-time documentary of an ordinary life, in the tradition of Agnès Varda's earlier New Wave landmark, Cleo From 5 to 7 (1961). Jeanne feeds her son, fixes potatoes, does the marketing, entertains gentlemen -- but things slowly, almost imperceptibly start to go wrong, first those potatoes, and then, finally, something more shocking. Akerman sets out to capture the rhythm of daily life, even as that pace sets us up, after several hours, for the almost tossed-off, blink-and-you'll-miss-it climax.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
At a running time of three hours and 21 minutes, Chantal Akerman's Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975) was an audacious effort for a 25-year-old filmmaker -- and sufficiently daunting on practical grounds so that the movie wasn't seen in the USA in anything except 16mm prints for the first 33 years of its existence, until 2009. It's not a brisk 201 minutes but it is engrossing and rewarding, a painstakingly realistic account (oozing verisimiltude out of every frame, and there are a lot of frames) of three days in the life of the female protagonist of the title, portrayed by Delphine Seyrig. Akerman turns this detail, and not-quite-perfect (and increasingly troubled attempts at) repetition into a gradually intensifying, almost purely visual tale of psychological stress and deterioration, culminating in sudden violence, shocking in its swiftness and brutality, and brevity. The shots are almost all at waist-level, and camera movement is nearly non-existent as Seyrig's portrayal (aided in places by Jan DeCorte as her teenaged son), finely nuanced and as naturalistic as they come, unfolds, in a seemingly mundane domestic Belgian setting, punctuated by a couple of sex-for-hire interludes that become the catalyst for the final unraveling of this woman's life. The movie won all kinds of praise from feminist critics for its subject matter and origins, but the movie is a significant achievement beyond those cultural boundaries, as cinematic storytelling set to its own agenda and focus, with no apologies or compromises. And that unique focus and agenda also make it necessary to track down under the right conditions -- it's not as though anyone but IFC is likely ever to show this picture on cable, but it should (indeed, must) be seen on a big screen, in a theater, to get any measure of the proper effect, and the enveloping impact of Akerman's vision and Seyrig's performance.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/25/2009
UPC:
0715515048019
Original Release:
1975
Rating:
NR
Source:
Criterion
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
3:21:00
Sales rank:
21,291

Special Features

Autour de "Jeanne Dielman," a 69 minute documentary shot by actor Sami Frey and edited by Agnès Raves and Akerman-made during the filming of Jeanne Dielman; New interviews with Akerman and cinematographer Babette Mangolte; Excerpt from "Chantal Akerman par Chantal Akerman" a 1997 episode of the french television program Cinéma De Notre Temps; Interview with Akerman's mother, Natalia; Archival television interview excerpt featuring Akerman and star Delphine Seyrig; Saute Ma Ville (1968), Akerman's first film, with an introduction by the director; Plus: a booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Ivone Margulies

Cast & Crew

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai Du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles
1. First Client [11:24]
2. Dinner [11:00]
3. Lessons [7:21]
4. Leisure [6:53]
5. Bedtime [6:26]
6. Morning [7:46]
7. Breakfast [5:47]
8. Cleanup [8:28]
9. Errands [9:16]
10. Dinner Prep [8:28]
11. Lunch [4:15]
12. Coffee Break [8:28]
13. Second Client [4:43]
14. Potatoes [4:34]
15. Dinner [4:23]
16. Leisure [5:54]
17. Bedtime [7:52]
18. Morning [2:41]
19. Breakfast [7:17]
20. Cleanup [2:11]
21. Errands [5:48]
22. Dinner Prep [6:50]
23. The Wait [4:39]
24. Chores [11:27]
25. The Wait, Part 2 [4:27]
26. Lunch [6:20]
27. Errands [2:35]
28. Third Client [8:34]
29. Rest [8:22]
30. Color Bars [7:19]
Disc #2 -- Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai Du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles
1. Hairbrushing [7:36]
2. Aunt Fernande's Letter [3:33]
3. A Desire to Contribute [2:08]
4. Dinner Prep/Coffee Break [15:51]
5. Veal Cutlets [14:28]
6. The Role [6:09]
7. Duvet or Blanket? [6:29]
8. Client Number Three [12:26]
1. Saute Ma Ville [6:44]
2. Jeanne Dielman [9:19]
3. News From Home [4:13]
4. What Do You Still Remember? [7:56]

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