Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB
Original title: Les Rendez-Vous D’Anna
France/Belgium/West Germany, 1978. Centre du Cinéma et de l’Audiovisuel de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, Hélène Films, Paradise Films, Unité Trois, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen. Screenplay by Chantal Akerman. Cinematography by Jean Penzer. Produced by Alain Dahan, Maya Faber-Jansen. Production Design by Philippe Graff. Film Editing by Francine Sandberg.
Exquisite work by Chantal Akerman represents one of the highest points of her oeuvre. She incorporates her still camera and themes of isolation to explore the experiences of one woman who is cut off from those around her. Aurore Clément plays a filmmaker who is traveling through Europe to promote her latest project and encounters various people: a one-night stand whom she prevents from getting too close, an old friend who catches her up on her own disappointments, an ex-lover, and her own mother. Akerman uses a slow, almost painfully deliberate pace in telling the story, but the imagery is mesmerizing and the performances so languid that you will be sucked in by its intensity. There’s a beautiful scene where Clement sings Piaf’s “Les Amants D’Un Jour” a capella that is unforgettable, and the supporting cast is excellent.