The Meetings of Anna

The succes de scandale of Jeanne Dielman brought Chantal Akerman the opportunity to make a film for the French major Gaumont; the result was this moody, terse, haunting feature about a woman filmmaker (Aurore Clement) on a promotional tour of Europe. In each city she takes the chance to look up relatives, friends, and ex-lovers, but none of the meetings is wholly satisfying; some block to communication always remains. Akerman's use of long takes and open spaces delineates the gulf that separates her characters from their environment and from each other. While the atmosphere of anomie may be familiar from countless European art films, it is Akerman's intense emotionality, held desperately in check by her precise camera style, that makes this effort something special (1978).

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