Thursday, September 1, 2022

THE SCHOOL OF CHANTAL AKERMAN: AMAT ESCALANTE - PART ONE


A movie that I rediscovered, because I had seen it when I was sixteen and it was quite difficult for me to see, was Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles. When I was sixteen, I was living in Austin, Texas, and every Tuesday the Austin Film Society would show a free film in the university. That was really my film school. I saw this film and I had never seen something like it. I went ahead in my life and kind of forgot about it, and then when I was writing Sangre I came back to it somehow and got obsessed with finding it again and watching it - Amat Escalante, extraextramagazine.com

Jeanne Dielman.../
Sangre


Amat Escalante has always been open about the influence that Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman… has had on his debut feature Sangre

It [Jeanne Dielman] served as inspiration for my feature film Sangre - Amat Escalante, enfilme.com

Jeanne Dielman.../
Sangre


I think there is something there that influenced Sangre especially, but all of my movies. I was happy when Sangre premiered in Festival de Cannes in 2005 because the first headline about it read ‘Jeanne Dielman Makes Tacos. - Amat Escalante, extraextramagazine.com

Jeanne Dielman.../
Sangre


I recently came across a handful of interviews where Escalante cites Jeanne Dielman’s groundbreaking film as an inspiration on his entire filmography yet there were no visual examples in any of the articles (why not just take two screenshots and put them side by side in the article to emphasize the similarity?)

So I took it upon myself to put together a handful of examples (coupled with interview excerpts) of specific moments from Jeanne Dielman that clearly rubbed off on Amat Escalante.


Enjoy…


Whenever we shoot a film, there’s always a shot that we say, ‘oh this is the Jeanne Dielman shot,’ because there’s always someone at the sink washing dishes. It’s a sad anecdote but when we were shooting The Untamed, there’s a scene of a woman washing the dishes and we were filming her from behind. The day after that, I read on the news that Chantal Akerman had died. The day she died, we were shooting and said, ‘this is the Jeanne Dielman shot. - Amat Escalante, extraextramagazine.com

Jeanne Dielman.../
Sangre


I remember for Sangre, one of the most important scenes for me was a very long shot of the guy making his eggs and then eating them. Without wanting to sound pretentious, that part reflected the meaning of the whole movie. That scene was very much about feeling a void – seeing this guy, knowing what he’s going through and the things he’s not able to do as far as loving someone in the proper way, etc. But watching him eating. And in Jeanne Dielman, that movie works with that a lot I feel. It’s not meaningless, it’s not for you to look away, its meaning and its weight have to do with all of those scenes. That’s why I get that they are not such easy movies and they’re not super popular but if you choose to be there and to look at it and live it and experience it, it’s really rewarding. - Amat Escalante, extraextramagazine.com

Jeanne Dielman.../
Sangre


Jeanne Dielman deeply impressed and influenced me - Amat Escalante, BFI

Jeanne Dielman.../
The Untamed

Jeanne Dielman.../
The Untamed

Jeanne Dielman.../
Los Bastardos

Jeanne Dielman.../
Heli

Jeanne Dielman.../
Heli

Jeanne Dielman.../
Los Bastardos

Jeanne Dielman.../
Los Bastardos

Jeanne Dielman.../
Sangre
Jeanne Dielman.../
Heli

Jeanne Dielman.../
Heli

Jeanne Dielman.../
Amarrdos