La Chambre US, 1972,11', kleur, 16mm, zonder geluid
Il Pianetta Azzurro IT, 1982, 82', kleur, 35mm
GECUREERD DOOR GAWAN FAGARD
In Chantal Akerman's early short film La chambre, we see the furniture and clutter of one small apartment room become the subject of a moving still life - with Akerman herself staring back at us. This breakthrough formal experiment is the first film the director made in New York. In honour of Chantal Akerman, who passed away a few weeks ago, as an opening for this series of screenings.
Franco Piavoli's environmental visual poem presents a gentle, meditative collage of ambient sights and sounds meant to be absorbed more than watched. It's an idyllic vision of peace and plenty synchronized to the cycles of nature, with no scripted dialogue and, except for a brief moment, no orchestrated music to interrupt the flow of imagery. The setting is an Italian farm where a full year of seasons pass over the course of a single day, but there's a chronology to Piavoli's editing which suggests an even grander scale of evolution, from the genesis of springtime to the winter of extinction: water bugs to amphibians to Homo Sapiens. The effect is not unlike watching ice melt or grass grow: a slow, calming experience that can nevertheless be the ultimate in tedium to viewers not prepared for what to expect.