Chantal Akerman

Chantal Akerman

  • Belgian director, born in 1950 in Brussels and died in Paris in 2015.

    “To make films, you have to get up in the morning. So, I get up!” Chantal Akerman, Lettre de cinéaste
    From 1968 to 2015, the director endlessly “got up” for her work, making forty films, installations, books . . . Trained during her involvement in the New York experimental scene in the 1970’s, she invented a profoundly personal cinema, which modernised genres (the burlesque Saute ma ville, the musical Golden Eighties, the Proustian melodrama La Captive) through autofiction and a sensitive experience of everyday life, its duration and basic gestures. Keeping equidistance between upbeat and down, her portraits of women – herself in Je, tu, il, elle; Delphine Seyrig in Jeanne Dielman; Aurore Clément in Les Rendez-vous d’Anna – shed new light on interiors and interiorities, probing women’s and lesbians’ desires. From in-camera spaces to nomadic films (travel diaries, documentaries), her intimate stories tirelessly investigate History, starting with that of her mother, a Polish Jew who escaped the camps (D’Est, No Home Movie) and who she follows in death, a year after her passing. Her powerful work has impacted generations of feminists and artists, from Michael Haneke to Gus Van Sant. 

    • Cinema : Saute ma ville (1968) - L'Enfant aimé ou Je joue à être une femme mariée (1971) - La Chambre (1972) - Hôtel Monterey (1972) - Hanging Out Yonkers (1973) - Le 15/8 (1973) - I, You, He, She (1974) - Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975) - News from Home (1977) - Les Rendez-vous d'Anna (1978) - Toute une nuit (1982) - Les Années 80 (1983) - J'ai faim, j'ai froid (sketch de Paris vu par... 20 ans après) (1984) - New York, New York bis (1984) - Le Marteau (1986) - Portrait d'une paresseuse (1986) - Rue Mallet-Stevens (1986) - La Paresse (sketch de Seven Women, Seven Sins) (1986) - Golden Eighties (1986) - Les Trois Dernières Sonates de Franz Schubert (1989) - Trois strophes sur le nom de Sacher (1989) - American Stories: Food, Family and Philosophy (1989) - Pour Febe Elisabeth Velasquez, El Salvador dans Contre l'oubli (1991) - Night and Day (1991) - From the East (1993) - A Couch in New York (1996) - Le Jour où (1997) - Sud (1999) - The Captive (2000) - De l'autre côté (2002) - Tomorrow We Move (2004) - Down There (2006) - Femmes d’Anvers en novembre (2008) - Almayer's Folly (2012) - No Home Movie (2015)
    • Television : Aujourd'hui, dis-moi (1980) - Un jour Pina m'a demandé (1983) - L'Homme à la valise (1983) - Lettre d'un cinéaste : Chantal Akerman (1984) - Family Business: Chantal Akerman Speaks About Film (1984) - Letters Home (1986) - Le Déménagement dans Monologues (1992) - Portrait of a Young Girl at the End of the 60s in Brussels (1994) - Chantal Akerman par Chantal Akerman dans Cinéma, de notre temps (1997) - Avec Sonia Wieder-Atherton (2003) - À l'Est avec Sonia Wieder-Atherton (2009)

Films of their lives

“If that’s what cinema is, then I want to make films!” Chantal Akerman, on Pierrot le fou

This list stems from interviews with the filmmaker* and additional information provided by her close collaborators: editor Claire Atherton; cellist Sonia Wieder-Atherton; producer Marilyn Watelet; and her sister, Sylviane Akerman. 


* Mainly:
- “Une Cinémathèque imaginaire de Chantal Akerman”, interview by Frédéric Strauss for La Cinémathèque française (2000) : 

- “Chantal Akerman: The Pajama interview”, by Nicole Brenez (2011):

Their list of films

By clicking on the “commentary” pictogram on the left of some of the film titles, you will find further details and quotes.

    Films available on LaCinetek