EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|NEWS FROM HOME (director/writer: Chantal Akerman; cinematographers: Babette Mangolte/Jim Asbell; editor: Francine Sandberg; cast: Chantal Akerman (Voice); Runtime: 86; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Alain Dahan; Criterion Collection; 1976-France-French with English subtitles)|
stark images tell all."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Experimental Belgium filmmaker Chantal Akerman's ("South"/"A Couch in New York"/"La Captive") early in her career documentary is filmed in the summer of 1976 on her extended stay in NYC. The DVD released by Criterion in their Eclipse Series 19 collection includes her following New York Films: La Chambre (1972, 11 minute short), Hotel Monterey (1972), News From Home, Je Tu Il Elle (1975) and Les Rendez-Vous D'Anna (1978).
Akerman's chilling film is a
disjointed look at New York's cityscapes that include
its empty and
crowded streets, vacant lots, its skyscrapers,
tenements, and its underground graffiti-ridden subway
from Akerman's bourgeois mother in Belgium are read
aloud by the
filmmaker off-screen, as mom pleads for more letters,
tells her how
she's missed by everyone at home (laying a guilt-trip on
to return home) and expresses concern about her
daughter's financial and physical well-being. While the
read in an unemotional tone, the
images of the city roll by.
It's a fascinating
on urban alienation and alienation from others and
from the family. The
stark images tell all.
REVIEWED ON 6/24/2010 GRADE: A-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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