(aka "Jeanne Dielman")

 

directed by Chantal Akerman
France  1975


A singular work in film history, Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles  meticulously details, with a sense of impending doom, the daily routine of a middle-aged widow—whose chores include making the beds, cooking dinner for her son, and turning the occasional trick. In its enormous spareness, Akerman’s film seems simple, but it encompasses an entire world. Whether seen as an exacting character study or one of cinema’s most hypnotic and complete depictions of space and time, Jeanne Dielman is an astonishing, compelling movie experiment, one that has been analyzed and argued over for decades.

***

Chantal Akerman's feature is one of the few 'feminist' movies that's as interesting aesthetically as politically. It covers three days in the life of a bourgeois widow who supports herself and her somewhat moronic son by taking in a 'gentleman caller' each afternoon. Much of the film simply chronicles her ritualised routine, but does it in an ultra-minimal, precise style that emphasises the artifice of the whole thing...and gradually the artifice (coupled with the fact that Delphine Seyrig plays the woman) shifts the plot into melodrama, so that the film becomes a bourgeois tragedy.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: May 14t5h, 1975 - Cannes Film Festival

Reviews         More Reviews        DVD Reviews

DVD Comparisons: 

Cinéart (from the 5-disc Chantal Akerman Collection 70's) - Region 2 - PAL vs. Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC

Cinéart (from the 5-disc Chantal Akerman Collection 70's) - Region 2 - PAL LEFT vs. Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1- NTSC RIGHT

DVD Box Cover

Distribution Cinéart (from the 5-disc Chantal Akerman Collection 70's) - Region 2 - PAL

Criterion Collection - Spine # 484

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 3:13:00 3:21:30
Video

1:1.66 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.21 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1:1.66 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.13 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Cinéart

Bitrate

Criterion

Audio French (2.0 Dolby Digital) French (1.0 Dolby Digital)
Subtitles English, Dutch and None English and None
Features Release Information:
Studio: No Shame Films

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1:1.66

Edition Details:  

NOTE: ALL EXTRAS HAVE OPTIONAL ENG. and DUTCH SUBTITLES

• Saute ma ville (1968) and La Chambre (1972)

• 3 separate Interviews - with Babette Mangolte, mother Natalia Akerman and Aurore Clement (approx. 1 hour 20 minutes)

• Interview with Chantal Akerman (17:15)

• Featurette: Autour de Jeanne Dielman (1:18:25)


DVD Release Date: April 18th, 2007

Custom 4-tiered case (see image below)
Chapters: various 
 

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1:1.66

Edition Details:
• Restored digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Chantal Akerman
• Autour de “Jeanne Dielman,” a 69-minute documentary—shot by actor Sami Frey and edited by Agnes Ravez and Akerman—made during the filming of Jeanne Dielman (1:08:42)

• Chantal Akerman on Jeanne Dielman (20:19)

• Chantal Akerman on Filmmaking (17:15)
• New interviews with Akerman and cinematographer Babette Mangolte (22:40)
• Excerpt from “Chantal Akerman par Chantal Akerman,” a 1997 episode of the French television program Cinéma de notre temps
• Interview with Akerman’s mother, Natalia (28:12)
• Archival television interview excerpt featuring Akerman and star Delphine Seyrig (6:51)
• Saute ma ville (1968), Akerman’s first film, with an introduction by the director (13:02)
• 20-page liner notes booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Ivone Margulies


DVD Release Date: August 25th, 2009
Transparent Keep Case

Chapters 30


Cinéart package

 

 

Comments Many cineastes were riding a roller coaster of emotion when Carlotta films announced a Coffret Chantal Akerman - The 70's HERE for release in April 2007 - but were later disappointed when it was confirmed that they did not include English subtitles. Cinéart (Belgium) have released a DVD collection (covered by DVDBeaver HERE), with the exact same films (Hôtel Monterey / Je, tu, il, elle / Jeanne Dielman, / News from home and Les Rendez-vous d'Anna), it has many viable supplements, AND does offer optional English (as well as Dutch) subtitles. The PAL package is divided as follows - Hôtel Monterey and Je, tu, il, elle share a dual-layered disc. Jeanne Dielman is on its own (also dual-layered). The third disc has News From Home and the three interviews as extras, then the DVD with Les rendez- vous d’Anna has the two Akerman shorts and the 5th DVD is the bonus disc (Akerman interview and Behind the Scenes) is single-layered. We decided to compare the new Criterion package version of Jeanne Dielman with the Cinéart.

Cinéart vs. Criterion image: It appears as though the source for the transfers is the exact same as there is not much difference at all between the two digital presentations (see bitrate graph similarities). The Criterion can sometimes appear a shade sharper (perhaps some minor tinkering) and its subtitles seem more complete with a different, larger, font. But beyond that as both are progressive (with no other extras sharing the dual-layered disc), have a similar bitrate but the Criterion is in NTSC running time while the Cinéart has 4% PAL speedup.  The Criterion is advertised as "Restored digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Chantal Akerman". Both look and sound marvelous (Criterion mono to Cinéart's 2.0 channel) in my opinion.

Supplements on the Cinéart: Important news on the PAL package is that all of its supplements have optional English and Dutch subtitles. You get two Akerman shorts - Saute ma ville (1968) running 12 minutes plus a silent camera piece, running 11 minutes, called La Chambre (1972). On the Les rendez- vous d’Anna DVD we have 3 separate Interviews - one with Babette Mangolte, a second with the director's mother Natalia Akerman and another with Aurore Clement (total approx. 1 hour 20 minutes). On the supplements disc for Jeanne Dielman there is an interview with Chantal Akerman (17:15) and a featurette called Autour de Jeanne Dielman. It is a limited production behind the scenes expose and runs for 1:18:25. I found it kind of boring.

 

Supplements on the Criterion: the film is so long and bare that I can't see a full-length commentary being viable. Unless I am incorrect - Autour de “Jeanne Dielman,” seems to run about 10-minutes shorter on the Criterion disc. It's a documentary—shot by actor Sami Frey and edited by Agnes Ravez and Akerman—made during the filming of Jeanne Dielman. It looks at the on-set relationship between Akerman, Delphine Seyrig and the crew. It's still boring BUT did notice that the Criterion subtitling is far more complete than the Cinéart which leaves many gaps without translation. Sauté ma ville (1968) is 13-minutes and is also on the Cinéart. It is Akerman’s first film, but contains an introduction by the director (13:02). Chantal Akerman on Jeanne Dielman is a 20-minute interview conducted in Paris April 2009. Chantal Akerman on Filmmaking runs 17-minutes and is footage excerpted from “Chantal Akerman par Chantal Akerman,” a 1997 episode of the French television program Cinéma de notre temps. This is the same one available on the Cinéart disc. We get about 7-minutes of a Feb. 1976 television interview excerpt featuring Akerman and star Delphine Seyrig from the program Les rendez-vous du dimanche hosted by Michel Drucker. Akerman and Seyrig discuss their work together. There is a new interview with longtime collaborator, cinematographer, Babette Mangolte who shot her films Hôtel Monterey and La Chambre. This runs 22-minutes. There is a 1/2 hour interview with Akerman’s mother Natalia (by the director herself) from 2007 - also available on the Cinéart package. Criterion have included a 20-page liner notes booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Ivone Margulies.

This is a landmark, un-missable, film and both packages represent it to an excellent level - but the Criterion, as a whole, may be marginally more polished with some new interview supplements. Those considering a double-dip should mull over the Cinéart's PAL speedup and less complete subtitle translations as discussed above. Criterion have done their, expectantly, thorough and professional job with this important title and we surely must recommend.  

Gary Tooze

 



DVD Menus

 

Cinéart (from the 5-disc Chantal Akerman Collection 70's) - Region 2 - PAL LEFT vs. Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1- NTSC RIGHT
 

 

Cinéart 2nd Jeanne Dielman disc LEFT vs. Criterion 2nd disc RIGHT

 
 

 


Screen Captures

 

Cinéart (from the 5-disc Chantal Akerman Collection 70's) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1- NTSC BOTTOM

 

 


Cinéart (from the 5-disc Chantal Akerman Collection 70's) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1- NTSC BOTTOM

 

 


Cinéart (from the 5-disc Chantal Akerman Collection 70's) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1- NTSC BOTTOM

 

 


Cinéart (from the 5-disc Chantal Akerman Collection 70's) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1- NTSC BOTTOM

 

 


Cinéart (from the 5-disc Chantal Akerman Collection 70's) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1- NTSC BOTTOM

 

 


  Cinéart (from the 5-disc Chantal Akerman Collection 70's) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1- NTSC BOTTOM

 


Cinéart (from the 5-disc Chantal Akerman Collection 70's) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1- NTSC BOTTOM

 

 

DVD Box Cover

Distribution Cinéart (from the 5-disc Chantal Akerman Collection 70's) - Region 2 - PAL

Criterion Collection - Spine # 484

Region 1 - NTSC




 

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Gary Tooze

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