She was born to Holocaust survivors and grew up poor in Belgium. She made her first film at 18. She came to New York with barely an understanding of English at the age of 21, where entering the world of avant-garde cinema. At 24, she made what is considered one of the greatest film's of all time, a break through for both minimalist cinema and feminist cinema. Her next feature ranks among the greatest documentaries ever made. Her career lasted almost 50 years, until last week, when Chantal Akerman died at the age of 65, leaving an array of masterpieces: Jeanne Dielman, News From Home, Rendezvous With Anna, Golden Eighties, and Almayer's Folly (among many more waiting to be discovered). In this special bonus issue, Peter Skypes (No Home Movie-style) with Montreal based critic Justine Smith on the legacy and impact of one of cinema's most essential heroes.
"I'm always just thinking about trying to get life right."
There are no curtains in the films of Stephen Cone. Well, there are literal curtains, but Cone never attempts to hide the surfaces of his characters, or really paint into anything than what they truly are. The Chicago based filmmaker sits down with Peter on the eve of the local premiere of his award-winning new film, Henry Gamble's Birthday Party. Stephen traces his cinephilia from Kentucky to New York to Chicago, discusses his respects for the craft of criticism, and explains his approach to collaborative sets and trust in making films like The Wise Kids and Black Box. Finally, the two dive into the show's third Jonathan Demme film, his adaptation of Toni Morrison's post-modernist novel Beloved. Declared a vanity project when initially released, the two explore the relationship between Demme and his actors, crafting an unflinching, truly humanist portrait of the American South by embracing subjectivity in the post-slavery era.
4:34-8:23 Establishing Shots - Excerpts from Remembering Chantal Akerman 9:09-56:36 Deep Focus - Stephen Cone