News from Home

News from Home ★★★★½

News from Home captures the feeling of living far from home in a big city when you're young and wild and kind of ignore your worried parents and get lost amongst the constant buzz of subway trains and car oceans and late night dives and derelicts slumped against park benches. Watching this movie made me want to call my mom, whose phone messages often go unreturned much like Mme. Akerman's letters! I especially like how the sounds of the city occasionally swallow up and drown out the voiceover. Way to make the distancing effect of new people and places cinematic, Chantal! The more you live away from home, the more the family you leave behind feels more like an afterthought as you get absorbed in your own daily routine and comings and goings. Texas is about as far away and alien from New Jersey as New York is from Belgium. I'M A BAD SON! I haven't seen a family tear jerker this potent since Tokyo Story!

The best part of this screening? Chantal Akerman's long time director of photography, Babette Mangolte, in attendance for a Q&A! She had a lot of insight into the production of the film, like how she prefers to shoot without sound to free up the camera and how Chantal and a few friends held down the tripod in the subway scenes to keep it from jumping. I especially liked how Babette talked over any man who asked a question. They often couldn't even finish their thoughts before she tore in with a long thoughtful diatribe. Super chouette!

Patrick liked these reviews