News from Home

1976 [FRENCH]


IMDb Rating 7.4 10 2077

woman director

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Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN
December 26, 2022 at 09:17 AM

Top cast

Chantal Akerman as Self - Letter Reader
816 MB
French 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 28 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by framptonhollis 8 / 10

A Very Interesting Experimental Piece

*Although the review only technically includes spoilers, considering the film has no actual plot, the review may take something away from the experience*

Chantal Akerman is one of the greatest experimental filmmakers of all time. "Jeanne Dielman" has become one of my favorite films, and I really liked "Hotel Monterey". Her films are normally very, very slow, and they attract a very specific audiences. Of course, I am part of the audience that Chantal Akerman's films attract, so I was very interested in seeing this film.

It has been on my watch list for some time, and I was very glad to finally watch it. Was it good? Yes! It is a great experimental film, and the best Akerman film I've seen since "Jeanne Dielman".

The concept, itself, is quite interesting to begin with. Chantal Akerman reads letters sent to her by her money, against images of daily New York city life. These letters from home, eventually, start becoming obscured by the loud noises of city life. This could be considered symbolism of Akerman's own personal response to these letters that have been given to her. This, clearly, makes "News from Home" Chantal Akerman's most personal work.

The actual images of New York city life are very well shot, themselves. If this film was absent of the narration, it'd still be a quite interesting portrait of city life, although that would make the film a bit less interesting. Every single image is beautiful and interesting, especially the last 10 minute long shot pulling away from a NYC dock.

Although it's a great film, there are flaws. At times, some of the shots, when absent of narration, run on a bit too long. Sometimes I even found myself zoning out, thinking about other things. If Akerman trimmed down some of these scenes, the film would've been a bit better and easier for me to view.

While other Akerman films may be far more influential (including the previously mentioned films "Hotel Monterey" and "Jeanne Dielman"), this is still a great film for Akerman fans! If you like slow cinema and the other works of Chantal Akerman, I highly recommend you watch this movie. However, it is a film that isn't for most audiences, so if you're just some guy who likes movies, you will probably not like this movie very much.

Reviewed by runamokprods 7 / 10

Another intriguing experiment from the wonderful Chantal Akerman

Chantal Akerman is arguably the most important and interesting female director of her era, yet she is sadly under-known here in the U.S. The range of her work is astounding, from largely experimental 'difficult' works like this, to frothy musical-comedy, to dark, thoughtful dramas, and just about everything in between. I'm so glad Criterion is finally putting out much of her early work.

As for this film, it's an interesting experiment, if far from Akerman's most important.

It's all images of New York City, mostly still at first, with ever more movement as it goes along. The soundtrack is all letters to Ackerman from her mother in France being read aloud over the images. Odd as it sounds, it easily held my attention, though never really got emotionally involving. Once again, Akerman's city images are great, evoking Edward Hopper's paintings. But both the images and overall impact seem less powerful to me than Akerman's somewhat similar - and to my taste far better -- 'Hotel Monterey'.

However with this kind of experimental film, everyone is likely to react differently, and I'd urge you to see it for yourself.

Reviewed by jread-5 10 / 10

News from the lost past

Chantal Akerman was a young Belgian woman who had come to America to make movies. Unfortunately for her, she moved to New York City at a very low point in its history: the Summer of 1976. The Summer of Sam. The year of "Ford to City: Drop Dead." Graffiti everywhere. Burned out buildings. Garbage. Heat. Blackouts.

Chantal's camera records all this squalor in exquisite, non-judgmental long takes. You can almost smell the place. Somehow, the city arranges itself for her in fascinating compositions of color, personalities, and activities. What's that guy over there doing? What is that woman thinking about?

In counterpoint to the visuals, Chantal reads irritating letters from her beloved mother complaining that Chantel does not write frequently enough and When is she coming home? But how could she come home when there is such rich, baroque subject matter for her camera? We know that after her mother died several years later, Chantal committed suicide. The tension between her mother's letters and the power of the city is palpable.

Chantal has left us this gift of a precise record of a time and place that existed once and will not exist again. The final extremely long shot, taken evidently from the Staten Island ferry, is of Manhattan with its Twin Towers still present slowly receding and disappearing in the mist.

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