Thursday, October 1, 2015

No Home Movie (2015) NYFF 2015 is not for all tastes

It begins with  four minute long shot of a tree in the desert blowing in the wind. It then shifts to the apartment of director's Chantal Akerman's mother. We watch as the pair interacts over the final months of the elder Akerman's life.

How you react to the film is going to depend upon several things. Are you a fan of the directors, if so by all means dive in. If you are not a fan, or if you are not a fan of films that are told in long static shots, usually at a distance then you might want to stay away.  This is a film where with rare exceptions in the second half, we are forever outsiders. We are watching the conversations and action outside of it all. It's an intentional device that makes us work a little harder at what we are seeing.

I should note that I am not an Akerman fan. I've seen several of her works but they have never truly blown my skirt up. Its not that the films are bad, rather the observational approach, keeping us on the outside, doesn't work for me.  Or if it does, it doesn't work for two hours, I tend to lose interest.

Such is the case with NOT A HOME MOVIE. Somewhere about a half an hour in a lost interest. I had had enough and started to doodle in my notebook. I hung out to the end but how I felt about the film never changed. On the other hand some people I spoke to after seeing the film said glowing things. Granted they tended to be fans of Akerman and were familiar with her recent work which also featured her mother.

As I said at the top how you react will depend upon how you feel about Akerman's style.

The film plays October 7 and 8. For more information and tickets go here.

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