Boredom in real time


n+1 on experimental film, Jeanne Dielman.

Chantal Akerman has given countless interviews. In most of these, even the most recent ones, she is still asked about Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai Du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, her canonical 1975 film that she made when she was only 25. Her responses have shifted over the course of decades, and at times you can sense her irritation at the continual fascination with her youth; in a 2010 interview, she snapped back to a question about watching Godard’s Pierrot Le Fou, long cited as a life-changing experience for Akerman: “Oh, I have said that a hundred times. Forget about it. You know all about that. I have told that story one million times.”

Existential Ground Zero

Though today considered a minor classic (not least by Zadie Smith), Tom McCarthy’s 2005 novel Remainder was rejected by the mainstream before finding Parisian art-house publishers Metronome Press. It is a novel about authenticity, about failed transcendence, about death, themes McCarthy continues to explore both in his novels (Men in Space, the Booker shortlisted C) and with his ‘semi-fictitious’ art organisation the INS.