NEWS FROM HOME

V' 11

NEWS FROM HOME

Chantal Akerman
F/BRD, 1976
88min, eOF

NEWS FROM HOME

Chantal Akerman
F/BRD, 1976
, 88min, eOF

Production: 
Paradise Films [b]Co-Produktion[b] Unité Trois Paris, Institut National de l’Audiovisuel Paris, ZDF
World Sales: 
Distribution in Austria: 
16 mm/Farbe

Though <![CDATA[<i>]]>News from Home <![CDATA[</i>]]> wasn’t shot (with funding from French television) until after she had moved back to Brussels and made two feature films there—1975’s <filmlink id=\" 3892\">Je tu il elle</filmlink> and <filmlink id=\"xxx\">Jeanne Dielman</filmlink>— <![CDATA[<i>]]>News from Home <![CDATA[</i>]]> has its origins in her stay in New York: the impetus for this exploration of physical and emotional dislocation was the series of letters her mother sent her while she was abroad.
The foundation for <![CDATA[<i>]]>News from Home <![CDATA[</i>]]>, made up of contained, episodic long takes of Manhattan streets, parking lots, and subway trains and platforms, had been laid in her previous work, both the New York films and <filmlink id=\" 3892\">Je tu il elle</filmlink> and <filmlink id=\" 3927\">Jeanne Dielman</filmlink>, which were more narrative driven but equally systematic. By punctuating <![CDATA[<i>]]>News from Home<![CDATA[</i>]]>’s 16 mm footage of desolate cityscapes with her own voice reading her mother’s letters, Akerman creates the perfect combination of the personal and the formal. The film’s long takes (about fifty in total) add up not to a simple compendium of detached urban imagery but to a kind of autobiography.