Hotel Monterey

Hotel Monterey ★★★★

In Hotel Monterey I have no idea what the audience is ever /supposed/ to be focused on. I don’t think there is an intentional place of focus (besides the general hotel); the more I sense about Akerman, the more I doubt there is a direct intention like this. I don’t know if I even really care. 

I feel like I’m often never quite ready to full-on watch Chantal Akerman’s movies with extreme attention without breaking them up. 

The long and very still shots she uses can be a lot to focus on... and that has less to do with boredom than the distractions one has. What I appreciate about her work so much is the visual ambient aspect her signature shots have. You are staring at a moving painting. When your thoughts waver, you are staring at a mirror. Your own reflection. You are in reality, but not really.

Akerman excels at capturing moments of spacing out— reading the same page of a book over and over without processing it while thinking about the people you talked to today. Even if I’m not thinking about what’s happening in the movie, I feel as though I’m still gaining something by being a part of it.