Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles

Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles ★★★★

Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles was a movie that I’ve wanted to watch for a while, but it was also a movie that I was too intimidated to watch until now. I was mostly intimidated by the 200 minute runtime, but at some point, I figured that, since The Turin Horse is one of my favorite movies, I’d probably like this movie as well. While these two movies are somewhat similar, as they both follow the day-to-day chores of their protagonists, but their approaches are wildly different. While The Turin Horse is drenched in an atmosphere of hopelessness and malaise, the atmosphere of Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles is one of monotony and spareness, and while I do prefer the approach taken in The Turin Horse, I still liked how it was handled here. 

I feel like a lot of my criticisms towards this movie can be canceled out by the phrase “But that was the point”. The movie was boring, but that was the point. The movie was repetitive, but that was the point. Chantal Akerman used the intentional boredom and repetition to her advantage, which led to the movie being strangely hypnotic. It’s also an incredibly rewarding movie as well, and I felt that it made the runtime feel well earned rather than just being long for the sake of it. Overall, Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles is a great and incredibly influential movie experiment, and while I don’t see myself revisiting the movie, I know that it’ll stick in my head for a while.

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