Still from Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles
(Chantal Akerman, 1975)
This blog is preparing for a legendary links post on Monday, its first birthday, so please come back for that. Until then, do enjoy the below gems:
- Matthew Flanagan's blog Landscape Suicide (named for James Benning's 1986 film) goes from strength to strength with an astonishingly beautiful post on Jean Renoir's hugely influential 1934 film Toni: 'Toni & Boating, or: Realism(s) #1'. Here's looking forward to '#2'!
- There's another good essay on Toni by Michael Campi for Senses of Cinema (2006). And you must read Charles Musser's brillant article 'Social Roles / Political Responsibilities: Jean Renoir's Search for Artistic Integrity, 1928-1939 'Film-Historia, Vol. IV, No. 1 (1994): 3-30.
- Over at The Auteurs, you can find a good, short essay by Ivone Margulies (author of Nothing Happens: Chantal Akerman’s Hyperrealist Everyday ): 'A Matter of Time: Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles'. A little taster:
Despite their apparent simplicity, Akerman’s assured framing and narrative, built out of blocks of real time intercut by radical ellipses, are not easily replicated. Rather, the film’s impact is indirectly evident in the emergence of a new phenomenological sensibility and approach to observation and the weight of time in the work of contemporary filmmakers as diverse as Abbas Kiarostami, Gus van Sant, Pedro Costa, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Todd Haynes, Jia Zhangke, and Tsai Ming-liang.
- You can read another excellent Akerman essay online by Margulies: 'La Chambre Akerman: The Captive as Creator' at Rouge 10, 2006.
- See a great essay by Maria Fosheim Lund, 'Deja-Vu Melodrama: An Iconographical and Iconological Analysis of "Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles"' at Out 1 Film Journal (January 27, 2009).
- And you can read Ed Henderson's thoughtful review of 'Jeanne Dielman' for Slant Magazine, June 8, 2003.
- Joe McElhaney's fantastic edited collection on director Vincente Minnelli (Vincente Minnelli: The Art of Entertainment, Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2009) has been deservedly garnering a lot of online attention (see Girish Shambu here; Jonathan Rosenbaum here; and some other review snippets here) and it certainly looks like an excellent book to own. Film Studies For Free wanted you to know, however, that some of McElhaney's hugely important work on this Hollywood director has already very generously been made available online for free: see his overview essay 'Vincente Minnelli' at Senses of Cinema. Also see The Band Wagon by Joe McElhaney, Cabin in the Sky by Rick Thompson, Putting on a Show, or The Ghostliness of Gesture by Lesley Stern (Includes discussion of performance in The Band Wagon); and Some Came Running by Dana Polan at the same journal.
- And you can also read McElhaney's brilliant article 'Medium Shot Gestures: Vincente Minnelli and Some Came Running' at 16:9, June 2003 (as well as his 2006 essay for the same journal on Fritz Lang HERE).