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Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles- Criterion Collection
Jeanne Dielman 23 Quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles- Criterion Collection
Actors: Delphine Seyrig, Jan Decorte, Henri Storck, Jacques Doniol-Valcroze, Yves Bical
Director: Chantal Akerman
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
UR     2009     3hr 21min

A singular work in film history, Chantal Akerman's Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles brillantly evokes, with meticulous detail and sense of impending doom, the daily domestic routine of a middle-aged wid...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Delphine Seyrig, Jan Decorte, Henri Storck, Jacques Doniol-Valcroze, Yves Bical
Director: Chantal Akerman
Creators: Chantal Akerman, Babette Mangolte, Patricia Canino, Alain Dahan, Corinne JÚnart, Evelyne Paul, Guy Cavagnac, Liliane de Kermadec, Paul Vecchiali
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Studio: Criterion
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 08/25/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/1975
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1975
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 3hr 21min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 14
Edition: Criterion Collection
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English, French

Movie Reviews

A Courageous and Bold Film - Like Nothing You Have Ever Seen
PhotoRay | California | 06/17/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"How great that Criterion is releasing this masterpiece! It's really impossible to describe this film. I saw it back in the eighties and since then have tried to explain to friends the techniques that Chantal Ackerman uses to tell her tale. Most shake their heads and wonder why someone would want to watch repetitive static shots of real-time, full-length, unedited actions of the main characters doing things like peeling and boiling potatoes, making coffee, making meatloaf, etc. The film has the pace of a Tarkovsky film (but without the pretentiousness), and it sounds as if it would be incredibly boring. At 200 minutes it will test you (especially if you aren't used to "art-house cinema"), but it works so well that you will be riveted by the smallest details and gestures. The action comes together (hint: or comes apart) perfectly, and it all makes sense in the (infamous) end. Throughout, you will find yourself joyously perplexed. There's humor and drama and perfectly scaled lulls and crescendos.

This is courageous and bold film making.

I saw the film again several months ago at SF MoMA, and the pure genius of it is undiminished. It is not dated, nor is it pretentious or overly artsy in its approach. I managed to drag along one of those friends who hadn't seen the film back in the eighties, and he was blown away. When the film ended, he turned to me and said, "Incredible" ."
Jeanne Dielman
Robert Landis | Fairfield, Ct | 06/15/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I saw this film at the Film Forum in NYC in ~ 1982. IT BLEW ME AWAY. It was a mesmerising experience that I will never forget, and I am so glad that it is being released by The Criterion Collection.
The movie is long, and seems to move slowly, as some scenes are filmed in real time. The payoff comes at the end, when in a startling ending everything makes sense. A riveting film that you will think about for the rest of your life."
A brilliant film from a unique voice
Le_Samourai | 01/30/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"In the unnerving silence of a sparsely furnished kitchen in Brussels, a poised, anonymous middle-aged woman (Delphine Seyrig) - identified only through the title of the film as Jeanne Dielman - completes her food preparation, places the contents into a large cooking pot on the stove, reaches for a match, lights the burner, and with chronological precision, finishes replacing the matchbox from its original location as the doorbell rings, switching the lights off as she leaves the room. The scene then cuts to an unusually framed shot of a truncated Jeanne at the entrance of the apartment as she accepts a hat and coat from an unidentified guest (Henri Storck) before retreating, out of view, into a bedroom at the end of the hallway. Moments later, the obscured image is reconnected to a familiar referential framing of the darkened hallway as the unknown guest re-emerges from the room and prepares to leave, handing Jeanne a pre-arranged sum of money before confirming their next appointment for the following week. She deposits the money in a soup tureen in the dining room, then returns to the kitchen to attend to the boiling pot, before tidying the bedroom and meticulously bathing and changing clothes after the encounter. And so Jeanne's monotonous daily ritual unfolds through the tedium of household chores, impersonal sexual transactions, trivial errands, and alienated conversations with her son, Sylvain (Jan Decorte), revealing the silent anguish of disconnection and systematic erosion of the human soul.

Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles is a visually rigorous, uncompromising, and understatedly harrowing portrait of alienation, repression, and marginalization. Using primarily long take, medium shots from the repeated perspective of a stationary camera, Chantal Akerman creates an innately disquieting atmosphere of stasis and monotony. From the opening image of Jeanne facing away from the camera, to her visually decapitated shot as she politely receives clients by the entrance hallway of the apartment, Akerman uses extended, isolated framing that inhibits personal identification of the title character and reinforces a pervasive sense of unconscious, mechanical activity. The repeated filmic cued scene transitions associated with the actuation of light switches throughout the apartment further underscore the fragmented nature and dehumanized automation of her domestic tasks. By presenting the controlled and deliberate gestures inherent in Jeanne's ritualistic actions that betray an implicit violence beneath the veneer of structure and order - as she bathes (note the similar imagery of cleansing in Michael Haneke's The Seventh Continent), knits, shines shoes (a familiar episode from Akerman's short film, Saute ma ville), and peels potatoes - the film provocatively captures the unarticulated tragedy of estrangement, loneliness, and disconnection."
Stretches time in the most beautiful way....
J. Patrick | sf , CA United States | 11/23/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I saw this film about 12 years ago in San Francisco at the Castro Theater I don't believe the entire payoff of the film is in its ending. The detail and excruciating time experienced in this film follows you outside of your experience of watching it - I have never experienced a film that you had to completely surrender to and then leave feeling still so completely in its grasp and shape of time. The experience on DVD is different - as you can break away at any time, wander in and out, but I suggest the first time you watch this film turn off the lights, and just surrender to living Jeanne's life."