Chantal Akerman’s FROM THE EAST at Monkeytown (10/29)
I usually try not to just cut-and-paste press releases here, but that’s how this post is going down, so you’re gonna have to just deal with it, folks:
Chantal Akerman’s FROM THE EAST
at MONKEYTOWN (58 N 3rd St, Brooklyn 718-384-1369)
Thursday, October 29th
reservations are recommended
Doctruck, a new, occasional, experimental, traveling documentary series presents Chantal Akerman’s FROM THE EAST. The film traces a journey from the end of summer to deepest winter, from East Germany, across Poland and the Baltics, to Moscow. It is a voyage Chantal Akerman made shortly after the collapse of the Soviet bloc “before it was too late,” reconstructing her impressions in the manner of a documentary on the border of fiction.
By filming “everything that touched me,” Akerman sifts through and fixes upon sounds and images as she follows the thread of this subjective crossing. Without dialogue or commentary, FROM THE EAST is a cinematographic elegy.
Her camera shows flat landscapes and ribbons of city streets, modulated by the change of seasons, by the succession of day and night. The East is a space of muffled sounds, traversed by the footsteps of passers-by, sporadically pieced by music, laughter and strange interjections. It is an epidermal space: the camera slides over appearances (’like a caress’, says Akerman)… The East, no longer monolithically impersonal, is shown as both familiar and completely strange. This is a haunting and, quite literally, extraordinary film.
—Francette Pacteau, San Francisco Film Festival
Akerman takes satisfaction in the demanding nature of her films. Most directors feel complimented, she has said, when viewers say they are not aware of passing time: ‘But with me, you see the time pass. And you feel it pass. You sense that this is time that leads towards death… I’ve taken two hours of [your] life.’ After seeing FROM THE EAST, you will consider it time well spent.
—Livia Bloom, Film Comment