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Born in June: Chantal Akerman (PRINDIE Film Forum)

Updated: Jul 23

Each month the Programming Director, Ryan McDonald, will highlight a filmmaker in accordance with their birth month on the PRINDIE Film Forum. Please join us here to add to the conversation about this and other film related content! We are cross-posting the first highlight here.

Chantal Akerman at home in France in 1992. Photo by Louis Monier/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

The more I talk with people who love film but don't exactly study the medium, makes me realize there are many filmmakers (very famous and influential ones) that general American audiences have never even heard of - well we are going to help change that starting now. First I want to highlight Chantal Akerman, a profoundly influential Belgium artist born in June 1950.


"Philosophy Akerman has acknowledged that her cinematic approach can be explained, in part, through the writings of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. Deleuze and Guattari write about the concept of minor literature as being characterized by the following things:

  1. Minor literature is the literature that a minority makes in a major language; the language is affected by a strong coefficient of deterritorialization.

  2. Every individual matter is immediately plugged into political because minor literature exists in a narrow space.

  3. Everything has a collective value: what the solitary writer says already has collective value.

Deleuze and Guattari claim that these characteristics describe the revolutionary conditions within the canon of literature. Akerman has referenced Deleuze and Guattari on how, in minor literature, the characters assume an immediate, nonhierarchical relation between small individual matters and economic, commercial, juridical, and political ones. While the filmmaker has an interest in multiple deterritorialization, she also considers the feminist demand for the exercise of identity, where a borderline status may be an undesirable position."

"Similarly, Akerman's visual language resists easy categorization and summarization: The filmmaker creates narrative through filmic syntax instead of plot development."


For references and more information on Akerman, see:

The Directors Director: Chantal Akerman Chantal Akerman: 10 Essential Films

Criterion: Chantal Akerman

Wikipedia: Chantal Akerman

PRINDIE: Princeton Independent Film Festival will be held virtually from September 10th - 13th. PRINDIE: Princeton Independent Film Festival is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

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