Comments on watching and making films.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

DVD - News From Home

It is the late 1970's and Chantal Akerman has just moved to New York. Through locked off shots of the city in a wide variety of locale's, and voice over of Akerman reading her mother's letters to her over this period of time, the audience is given a sense of the kind of varied emotions a parent goes through when their child not only leaves home, but ventures across an ocean to a new, mysterious place.

News From Home can be incredibly slow at times, with long shots of the city (anywhere between two and three minutes long, probably having been shot on 100' reels of 16mm). It's the letters from Akerman's mother that put the film in perspective and give it a life. Otherwise it's just a bunch of shots of New York City, and, for the most part, not always interesting ones. The film is interesting, to a point, but it should really be about half of its running time, or less.

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