Kehr’s Weekly Recap: Les Annees 80 (1983)

Belgian filmmaker Chantal Akerman (Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles) made this 1983 independent work from a work-in-progress known as The Golden Eighties (the English title of which is Window Shopping). Forty minutes of videotaped auditions and rehearsals for Akerman’s shopping center musical are followed by three production numbers—in radiant 35-millimeter—from the film. The subject is first and foremost Akerman’s love of actors and the filmmaking process, and second the process itself—the intermediary steps between conception and perfection, from physical materials to cinematic illusions. If you don’t know Akerman’s work, this is an excellent place to start: it’s a very funny, very idiosyncratic piece from one of the most sympathetic of modernist filmmakers.

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