Hotel Monterey | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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This early experimental feature, slightly longer than an hour, by Chantal Akerman (1972), shot silently and brilliantly by Babette Mangolte, explores the corridors, lobby, elevators, and rooms of a cheap New York hotel. Occasionally the rooms' solitary occupants are glimpsed, but this only increases the overall atmosphere of eerie isolation and quiet, and reveals perhaps more than any other Akerman film how central an influence Edward Hopper has had on her work. On the same program, two very early Akerman shorts: Saute ma ville! (1968) and Lachambre (1972). Saute ma ville!--Akerman's first film, made when she was still a teenager--is a hilarious and appropriately claustrophobic forerunner of Jeanne Dielman, starring Akerman herself as a neurotic individual who creates apocalyptic havoc in her own kitchen. An illuminating and luminous program, not to be missed. (Facets Multimedia Center, 1517 W. Fullerton, Monday through Thursday, January 15 through 18, 7:00, 281-4114)

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