News from Home

News from Home ★★★★½

Criterion Channel

Perhaps not something I'd want to re-watch, but an incredible experience nonetheless.

Chantal Akerman captures gorgeous images of a New York that is long gone while overlaying letters from her mother, who appears to be growing more and more lonely as time passes.

There are tons of subtleties here. The sound of the city starts to drown out her mothers voice. The letters start out close together and gradually become more spaced out. The camera starts out completely stationary deep in the heart of the city, transitioning to moving shots, touring the outskirts and eventually leaving it entirely. Its an entirely visual representation of someone who moves to a new place, getting wrapped up in their new life, but gradually becoming homesick.

So much is being said without really saying anything at all. This is filmmaking in its purest form.

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