AJ’s review published on Letterboxd:
Chantal Akerman is a giant gap in my viewing, so I decided I might as well start now. Where better than from the beginning (of her docs/features)!
Hotel Monterey surprised me! I wasn’t expecting to be so unnerved by the dark shadow-filled hallways. Maybe it’s just because I watched it so late in a noisy, old house with cats running about. I remember one specific point where an elevator opens and lights up and moves the darkness, and I actually jumped I was so invested in the image.
I’ve heard and read a ton on Akerman’s gaze, and I loved how she lingered and dwelt on the inner architecture. Familiar structures made unfamiliar. As soon as something would start to “happen”, the editing would erase it and put us back to square one somewhere else. Familiarity wiped away.
Here’s to the start of a great journey through her works.