News from Home (Chantal Akerman, 1976)
In News From Home (1976), Chantal Akerman explores the personal as the political. New York is a grid within which thousands of anonymous stories compete with the author’s own which is told through her own readings of her mother’s letters from Belgium. Akerman’s everyday as an immigrant woman who moves on from one menial job to another while trying to make films is subsumed in a quietly passionate exploration of Manhattan streets and the comings and goings on subways. The specifically cinematic explorations of formal composition, duration, architecture and repetition coexist with an evocation of an immigrant’s alienation from her surroundings, her past, family and origins.
Chantal Akerman’s academic homepage can be found here
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