Sunday, 22 February 2015

Capital Celluloid 2015 - Day 71: Thu Mar 12

A Couch in New York (Akerman, 1996): ICA Cinema, 7pm


This is part of the complete Chantal Akerman retrospective from the A Nos Amours film club.

Here is their introduction to tonight's film:
The plot of Un divan à New York can read like the outline of a 50s melodrama: a dour New York psychoanalyst Henry (William Hurt) decides to house swap his Fifth Avenue apartment for a place in Paris. He ends up in the bohemian home of a dancer named Béatrice (Juliette Binoche). She is as insouciant as he is dour, and messy as he is tidy.

But Henry’s patients love Béatrice, and she finds she really can help them. Coming home, Henry finds his world in superb shape. Even his dog is happier. Henry has the wit to lie on her couch.
Akerman’s confection has a lightness that is hard to catch if in a hurry. 

Good to watch some Lubitsch beforehand to get into the mood. Then think of Peter Bogdanovich talking about Lubitsch’s style (and imagine that he is describing Akerman: “Something light, strangely indefinable, yet nonetheless tangible… one can feel this certain spirit; not only in the tactful and impeccably appropriate placement of the camera, the subtle economy of his plotting, the oblique dialogue which had a way of saying everything through indirection, but also - and particularly - in the performance of every single player, no matter how small the role." (read the whole article here.)

Here (and above) is the trailer.

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