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Between Les Rendez-vous d’Anna and Demain on Déménage: m(o)ther inscriptions in two films by Chantal Akerman

Rowley , Alison (2009) Between Les Rendez-vous d’Anna and Demain on Déménage: m(o)ther inscriptions in two films by Chantal Akerman. Studies in the Maternal, 2 (1). p. 15. ISSN 1759 0434

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    In the opening sequence of Chantal Akerman’s 2004 film Demain on Déménage (Tomorrow
    We Move) a grand piano hangs upside down high in the air against a clear blue sky. Sharp
    intakes and exhalations of breath register tension and anticipation (like the delicate
    beginnings of an orgasm), as the instrument sways and creaks on its straps in its movement
    through the air. The sounds issue from the mouth of the actress Aurore Clément, and right
    away I recognise her as the character Anna Silver from Les Rendez-vous d’Anna, a film made
    by Akerman in 1978 in which Clément plays the role of a daughter. The flash of recognition
    collapses nearly two decades of Akerman’s films in an instant as the actress’ roles as
    daughter and mother are superimposed in the mind. Simultaneously it involves, unavoidably,
    the perception of the gradual work of time on Clément’s physiognomy. I am affected by its
    subtle reconfiguration of her beauty, a fascination that offers a counter movement to the
    exchange of Clément’s fictional role from daughter to mother, one that stretches rather than
    collapses time in contemplation of the actual biological process of aging on the actress’s face
    as the camera moves in close to register its responses to the progress of the character’s
    beloved piano swinging towards its new location.

    Item Type: Article
    Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
    Schools: School of Art, Design and Architecture
    School of Art, Design and Architecture > Creative Interdisciplinary Research Centre
    Related URLs:
    Depositing User: Alison Rowley
    Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2012 15:57
    Last Modified: 08 Mar 2012 08:43


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