Retro: Chantal Akerman


Down There
Chantal Akerman
FRA, B, Israel 2006
79 min

The Belgian filmmaker Chantal Akerman spent a period of time, unspecified, a week or two, in an apartment in Tel Aviv that was lent to her. She lived there alone, in virtually complete isolation, indirectly filming and narrating the experience, sustained only by \"provisions\" found in the kitchen, especially rice and carrots, having had stomach trouble from an Israeli salad; didn't go to cafes or supermarkets, and rarely even went out, except for a couple of forays to the sea; the apartment was a block or so from the beach.
<![CDATA[<i>]]>La-bàs<![CDATA[</i>]]> is a series of long stationary shots out the windows, often showing figures of old people on balconies on the roof or buildings opposite. A woman, immobile, is tended to by her husband. One man sits for long periods motionless. Ackerman in voice-over says she thinks he's watching his plants grow. \"But I don't think plants grow any faster in Israel,\" she says.

AMIP, Paradise Films, Le Fresnoy

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