Kaja Silverman on Chantal Akerman

Please note: Due to unforeseen circumstances, Chantal Akerman will not be present at this event, as previously announced.

Acclaimed film/media theorist Kaja Silverman will screen and discuss recent film and installation work by renowned French feminist filmmaker Chantal Akerman. Works will include clips from Sud (1999), A Voice in the Desert (2002), and Down There (2006). The first of these works deals with imbrication of race and geography in the American South; the second and third focus on the Mexican-American border. Screening in its entirety will be To Walk Next to One's Shoelaces (2004), a two-channel installation in which Akerman and her mother read and discuss a diary entry written by her grandmother, who died in Auschwitz. Silverman will show how all of these works point back to Akerman's seminal 1976 film, News From Home.

Belgian-born, Paris-based filmmaker Chantal Akerman has been praised as “arguably the most important European director of her generation” and her work heralded as “the single most important and coherent body of work by a woman director in the history of the cinema.” Her 1975 film Jeanne Dielman 23, quai du commerce, 1080 Bruxelles has been called “the first masterpiece in the feminine in the history of the cinema.” In addition to dozens of films, she has created video installations that have been exhibited at the Venice Biennale and Kassel Documenta.

Kaja Silverman is the Class of 1940 Professor of Rhetoric and Film at UC Berkeley, and the author of seven books, including the seminal The Subject of Semiotics (1983), as well as The Threshold of the Visible World (1995) and World Spectators (2000). Forthcoming this year is Flesh of My Flesh. She has written extensively on photography and time-based art over the past eight years.

This program is being presented by the Arts Research Center at UC Berkeley in collaboration with the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive.

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