On Chantal Akerman

October 08 2015 · by Travis Bird

Image for 'On Chantal Akerman'Delphine Seyrig in JEANNE DIELMAN

When I heard about Chantal Akerman’s untimely death this week, I wasn’t in a projection booth, but I was about to enter one, and it seemed fitting. I saw my first Akerman film by running it in a projection booth, which means more to me now than it did at the time. It was her best-known one, Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles from 1975, which I knew nothing about at the time except that it was one of those with a reputation – it seemed to be part of an inner circle of cinema, a film that more worldly people like grad students mentioned with reverence and knowing, meaningful glances...