Hôtel des Acacias was an exercise guided in 1982 by Chantal Akerman at Belgium’s INSAS audio-visual college. Her personality left a strong impression on the four student directors and on the exercise itself.
After Les Années 80, the behind-the-scenes look at casting and rehearsals, Chantal Akerman directs Golden Eighties. An excellent ensemble cast, including Delphine Seyrig and eighties pop star Lio, slides through the shopping arcade in a finely directed choreography to the tones of an infectious pop soundtrack. Akerman herself wrote the lyrics for the deceptively cheerful songs For her unique musical comedy, Chantal herself wrote the lyrics of the songs (set to music by Belgian jazz composer and pianist Marc Hérouet) and constantly misleads the viewer. Is this film really an ironic critique of the hyper-commercial 1980s or rather a loving reverie about everyday life?
Akerman thoroughly indulged in the sound design for this film, which is packed with small but meaningful finds. From the click of high heels on the floor to the unwelcome sound of a zipper to the ever-changing tone and volume of the many conversations and chants.