Feature Friday: “Je, tu, il, elle” (1976)

Chantal Akerman is probably best-known for her 1975 masterpiece Jeanne Dielman, which is definitely required viewing. But all of her films are worth exploring! For instance, one year later, she released Je, tu, il, elle, a minimalist nouveau roman nightmare of a film. Its plot is extraordinarily simple: Chantal Akerman plays Je, a young woman who lies in bed and eats sugar, then abandons her room to hitch a ride with a truck driver, Il (whom she jerks off). Then she returns home to sleep with her ex-girlfriend (Elle). Meanwhile, you (Tu) watch; it’s really a lot like real life. The film’s style, meanwhile, goes toe-to-toe with the plot in terms of sparseness …

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Brevity, Part 3: Long Takes Continued (well, they’re long)

While writing my previous post, I grew aware that I wasn’t mentioning any women filmmakers. So I’d like to add something addressing that (because of course one can find numerous examples). And along the way, I’ll also try to say more in general about the power—and limitations—of the long take.

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