The Chantal Akerman Foundation, surrounded by the director’s relatives and collaborators, aims to collect, protect, preserve, restore and make accessible Akerman’s artistic corpus in its entirety and plurality: films in all formats, writings, and archives. Thanks to the restorations carried out at CINEMATEK, the Belgian Film Archives in Brussels, more than a dozne of films are now circulating around the world. The Foundation also strives to strengthen Akerman’s international aura, which is still as vibrant as ever, and to promote knowledge and scientific research. It is dedicated to the dissemination and transmission of the films among the younger generations, so that they in turn can claim her heritage.
Based in Brussels and keen to highlight its preservation and valorisation tasks, the Foundation has initiated, starting this fall, various activities in partnership with cultural institutions in the capital which are also committed to defending Akerman’s multidisciplinary work. At the same time, it is an opportunity for the Foundation to testify to its wish to reposition, to truly anchor Chantal Akerman in Brussels, which is the location where some of her most important films were shot and where she created her production house, Paradise Films, and which is the very fabric of her films, installations and writings.
A first special programme in tribute to Chantal Akerman will take place from October 2022 to mid-January 2023 in Brussels, in the form of a cinematographic, artistic, literary and architectural journey in Brussels, announcing almost two years of celebration of Chantal Akerman in Brussels and Belgium. Indeed, from the spring of 2023, different institutions will take over until the next stages planned for the end of 2023 : among others a full retrospective and an imaginary carte blanche at CINEMATEK and from February to July 2024, an exhibition of installations by Akerman at Bozar.
The Chantal Akerman Foundation thus fills the void left since Chantal Akerman’s death, and the absence in Brussels of one of the greatest filmmakers of the 20th century, globally admired and acclaimed for her visionary work and the universal questions that traverse it.
OCTOBER 4 2022 > JANUARY 15 2023
OCTOBER 4 : PALACE
19:00 / AVANT-PREMIERE TOUTE UNE NUIT
On 04.10, Palace cinema organizes the world premiere of Toute une nuit. Forty years ago, Chantal Akerman decided to settle in Brussels with Aurore Clément for a new film after a short connection at the north station in Les Rendez-vous d’Anna. In Toute une nuit the encounters take place after dark in the Belgian capital. The film, restored by CINEMATEK, depicts men and women that are seized with desire on a hot summer night, letting themselves be carried away by their feelings.
In the presence of Sylviane Akerman (President of the Chantal Akerman Foundation) and Aurore Clément
This film has been restored with the support of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation and the Brussels-Capital Region. Originally shot in 16mm, this element is currently considered lost. The 35mm CRI negative was scanned in 2K and restored. The color grading was done by the film’s director of photography, Caroline Champetier AFC, and Frédéric Savoir (Amazing Digital Studios).
In conjunction with the national release of the film on 05.10, Palace cinema presents an exhibition of the archives of the film preserved at the Foundation: Chantal Akerman’s scripts and notes of intent, photographs, press articles and documents relating to production.
OCTOBER 5: PALACE
11:00-13:00 / MASTERCLASS MARILYN WATELET
On the occasion of the re-release of Chantal Akerman’s TOUTE UNE NUIT, the Palace is organizing a unique MASTERCLASS where Marilyn Watelet will come and talk about the work she did as producer of the film in 1982.
Marylin Watelet was born in Brussels. She started in Belgian television and founded the company Paradise Films with Chantal Akerman in the 1970s. She worked as a stage manager, assistant director, production manager and producer on some thirty fiction and documentary films by Chantal Akerman and other filmmakers, while teaching at INSAS (Institut national supérieur des arts du spectacle) from 1992 onwards and making documentary films from 1994 onwards with Szymon Zaleski: Fin de Siglo (1994), École 27 (1996), Elian, l’enfant captif (2001), À toute épreuve (2004).
This meeting will take place in English.
The Palace will also open an archive cabinet at the Palace shop where you can consult various archives related to the film preserved by the Chantal Akerman Foundation.
Free event, reservation required at the ticket office (by phone 025035796 or by mail firstname.lastname@example.org)
OCTOBER 5: CINEMATEK
19:30 / LECTURE UNE FAMILLE A BRUXELLES
Actrice Aurore Clément, featuring in no less than six films by Chantal Akerman, will read Une famille a Bruxelles [A Family in Brussels]. This text, written in 1998, is almost an autofiction. It has been the subject of rare co-readings between Chantal Akerman and herself, re-appropriated here by Aurore Clément.
21:00 / CHANTAL AKERMAN, UNE CINEASTE JOYEUSE
CINEMATEK and the Chantal Akerman Foundation will host the world premiere of four short films made prior to Saute ma ville which have recently been discovered in its collections and never before seen.
Shot in the summer of 1967 in Brussels and Knokke by the director, alongside producer Marilyn Watelet, these Standard 8mm black-and-white films were presented by Chantal Akerman as « aptitude tests » at the Brussels Institute of Arts and Sciences (INSAS) where she had enrolled at the start of the academic year in 1967 and would stay a mere matter of months.
In the seaside town we find Marilyn Watelet, Chantal Akerman posing in a convertible, and Natalia Akerman, the director’s mother, while in Brussels she filmed the Midi summer fair as well as the courtyard of the former Hôtel de Clèves-Ravenstein, situated next to the film museum – a place they both visited regularly, never of course suspecting that one day it would be home to the Chantal Akerman Foundation.
They will be followed by a series of short films from the 1980s, namely various productions made in particular for television in which we find Chantal Akerman, Aurore Clément, Marilyn Watelet, Maria de Medeiros and Sami Frey. The films are clownish and burlesque, in the vein of the often deeply cheerful Akerman.
OCTOBER 6 2022 (- JAN 15 2023): BOZAR
INSTALLATION: SELF PORTRAIT/AUTOBIOGRAPHY
As a prelude to the major retrospective dedicated to her work in 2024, in the fall of 2022, Bozar will be presenting a rarely shown installation by Chantal Akerman, Selfportrait/Autobiography: A work in progress (1998). The installation is presented in a spectacular way, using 6 to 8 monitors containing images from several of her films that marked her career: Hotel Monterey (1972), Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975), Toute une nuit (1982) and D’Est (1993).
We get to see simple and rigorously chosen shots where characters get down to daily life tasks or are frozen in waiting (like the endless queues immobilised in the snowy streets of Moscow in D’Est). The artist’s voice-over is the common thread of the installation (featuring extracts from her book Une famille à Bruxelles), restoring the intimate journey of one of the greatest Belgian directors of the 20th century.
OCTOBER 8 : PALACE
14:00 – 16:00 GUIDED TOUR
Toute une nuit was shot exactly 40 years ago in Brussels, with “its bricks and its New York horizontality” (Akerman). Brussels, the film’s dark décor, has changed fundamentally since the film came out, both in terms of buildings, and inhabitants. 1982 was a low point, the construction sites were at a standstill, real estate agents were destroying the city with their “urban renewal,” Brussels center was left to its macabre fate, only to deform and molt into the Brussels we know today.
Géry Leloutre, urbanist, architect and professor at ULB, takes us through the locations in the film, interpreting the period of upheaval in the urban development of Brussels center and outskirts.
2 €. Reservation required at the ticket office (by phone 025035796 or by mail email@example.com). A screening of the film Toute une nuit is scheduled at 11:30 am.
OCTOBER 9: CINEMATEK
15:00 / JEANNE D., a radio creation in three parts
‘June 5, 1975. Day of my birth. The next day, Chantal Akerman celebrates her 25th birthday. It was this year that she shot Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Brussels. I was 25 years when I discovered Chantal’s cinema. The year was 2000 and it was like a mirror held up to my work as an apprentice filmmaker. I was no longer alone. More than 40 years after the filming of Jeanne Dielman, it’s a rental ad for an apartment that will open the doors of quai du Commerce 23 to me, and lead me into a dizzying investigation.’ – Isa Stragliati
With Bart Alleman, Philippe Graff, Boris Lehman, Babette Mangolte, Jacqueline Aubenas, Marianne Demuylder, Marylin Watelet, Jean-Paul Dorchain, Sabra Ben Arfa, Jan Decorte, and Paulo Dantas.
Followed by a conversation between Isa Stragliati and Iris Lafon (art historian)
OCTOBER 21: BOZAR
19:30 / HÔTEL DES ACACIAS
On October 21, Bozar organises the Belgian premiere of Hôtel des Acacias (1982), directed by INSAS film students during a workshop supervised by Chantal Akerman. Never shown in Brussels, the film is shot in the former Hôtel des Acacias, located on avenue Fonsny at the South station. It left a strong impression on the INSAS students, some of whom will be present live, after the film.
Introduced by Wouter Hessels and followed by an encounter between the actors of the film Nicole Valberg and Bernard Yerles.
Original French version subtitled in English
NOVEMBER 13: CINEMATEK
17:00 / AUTOUR DE LA FOLIE ALMAYER
Evening tribute to Chantal Akerman as part of the Brussels Art Film Festival, with the premiere of Autour de La Folie Almayer (2022), a documentary based on 20 hours of rushes from La Folie Almayer. The latter was shot in Cambodia in 2010 and is Chantal Akerman’s last fiction film. Autour de La Folie Almayer is a rare document on Chantal Akerman at work.