Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles

Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles ★★★★½

I don’t know if the word “boring” could ever be more apt yet be not at the same time and I think that the reason why is that this film defies or at the very least, circumvents most typical film conventions and presents us with a unfiltered & stark view of mundanity and the ever-present ordinary struggles that come with it and while it’s frustrating in the sense of something like the works of Andrei Tarkovsky and it felt very much like that and also in pacing but unlike Tarkovsky, there’s no surreal or dream-like sequences, the entirety of it is just complete and utter normality throughout in presentation and in content, we see the main character Jeanne Dielman (played by Delphine Seyrig) do standard tasks and chores like washing dishes, cooking food, prepare coffee, and etc. and it’s portrayed in such a manner that is fitting with the previous aspects, the camera doesn’t move a whole lot and it’s shot that we can see a wide angle of the various rooms & places that she navigates in and this process repeats throughout the whole film but it doesn’t become “dull” and/or “monotonous” in a traditional sense because while I can’t deny that it is that, it’s also in its own way, engaging that not a lot films are and if I were to show a random clip, I can compare it to something like the docking & EVA scenes in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) (Dir. Stanley Kubrick) or the various scenes in The Seventh Continent & 71 Fragments Of A Chronology Of Chance (1989 & 1994 respectively) (both directed by Michael Haneke and his work is directly or indirectly influenced by this film) but unlike those films, this film has no thrilling or climatic scenes or things that make it that like music or sounds, the only sounds we hear is everyday sounds like the clanging of utensils or the noises of the various appliances & furniture in and around her apartment and the only music that we hear is a cover of Für Elise and a French song (that I cannot be bothered to look up on what the title is) but it helps build a tone and atmosphere that is hyper realistic in the sense of it being so real that I can show it to a random person and they’ll believe that it’s actually real and one of my flatmates stumbled on me watching this film and asked me if it was a documentary and I answered, “Sure”, because that’s what it felt like to me but at the same time, it’s not reality posing as cinema but rather it’s cinema posing as reality and it’s in this lens in which we see ourselves in Jeanne and her tasks that we are sympathetic & empathetic because of her customary behavior and it being as long as it is, really does cement that quite well in my eyes yet there’s also a much more tragic side to her that is (like the rest of the film) presented in an orderly & mundane fashion and it’s a very understandable which makes her character that much more interesting and the fact that she doesn’t speak all that much is very impressive and overall I am going to rate this film a 9/10, it’s very fascinating & unconventional film that I'd recommend to most people (assuming that you’re interested in film or art in general) and normally I would talk about the ending but adding more than 2 indicative adjectives to it would spoil the entire thing so I won’t do that but it’s compelling to say the least.

Tomorrow I am going to take a look at Ratcatcher (1999).

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