In his Huffington Post review of our new release of Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, Mike Miley notes that “Akerman was twenty-five years old when she made this film—the same age at which Orson Welles began Citizen Kane.” It’s a perhaps surprising but entirely appropriate comparison for this groundbreaking film, which Miley calls, “in short, perfect, the kind of total work artists dream of making just once” and “one of the greatest films of all time.”
Miley has gotten a lot of corroboration for his assessment. “One of the real masterworks of modern cinema,” says Paper’s Dennis Dermody. “The look, the sound and feel of the 1975 film is on the surface very simple, but it’s emotionally complex and incredibly powerful. A true work of genius.” And in the Los Angeles Times, Sam Adams calls it a “masterpiece . . . Jeanne Dielman belongs to the rare class of films capable of transforming the world around you.”
Also worth a read: in his review of the release, the New York Times’s Dave Kehr unexpectedly compares the gender-coded worlds of Akerman and John Cassavetes.