Film #256: The Bedroom (1975)

la-chambreaka: La chambre
creator: Chantal Akerman
language: silent
length: 10 minutes
watched on: 28 Dec 2016

The last film I watched in 2016, and I guess this feels like an addendum to the year, as it’s a silent non-narrative film made in the 70s during the French new wave. Akerman, the maker of the film, is pushing the boundaries by making a film without any story. We watched it because my sister was doing a project and needed to watch something that focused on bedrooms.

Before I go on, you can find and watch it on Youtube at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8AGakyb3eBU

The film consists entirely of a camera swivelling slowly on the spot to look around a bedroom. Akerman is the silent woman sitting in bed as the camera pans past her. Honestly, it’s not the kind of thing I usually go in for, but I quite liked the atmosphere. It reminded me of the houses I’d seen in La belle saison just a couple of days before, but this is the genuine article. It’s full of clutter, and it’s fun just to look through and see which things that have changed since that time – ancient fridges and cooking equipment being a memorable one.

Not much happens in the film, but Akerman shifts position every time the camera moves past her, and it’s very unclear, but she might be masturbating the second time we see her. About halfway through, the camera stops and starts panning the other way – we all got really excited at this point and started debating the meaning, although it’s been a few weeks and I can no longer recall what wild theories were mentioned.

More of a curio than a film but interesting to watch.

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