TOUTE UNE NUIT (ALL NIGHT LONG) (director/writer: Chantal Akerman; cinematographer: Caroline Champetier; editor: Luc Barnier; music: Gustav Mahler; cast: Aurore Clement, Tcheky Karyo, Jan Decorte; Runtime: 89; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Marilyn Watelet; World Artists; 1982-France/Belgium-in French with English subtitles)
“Not a great film, but one that catches your attention.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Avant-garde Belgium filmmaker Chantal Akerman’s (“Golden Eighties”) fascinating minimalist film takes her to commonplace Brussels on a steamy night in the summertime as her busy camera follows the fragmentary personal dramas and emotions of assorted couples who are either coming together or breaking up, with their stories though not connected nevertheless feeding off each other. It appeals to the voyeuristic side of our nature, for those who are people watchers. The large cast consists of mostly nonprofessionals. It’s a plotless film with sparse dialogue that is built on its strange rhythms of time and space (it’s all images and sounds) that allow us to fill in the blanks in the story with our own imagination.
The odd adventure in filmmaking is worth savoring because of its uniqueness, its lingering hypnotic effect, the artistic way all the brief encounters reach a melodramatic moment and in the delicate manner Miss Akerman tells her amorous narrative in an experimental film style. Miss Akerman plays with the same theme for each couple, as the repetition offers both a mix of sad and happy moments. It’s surprisingly an accessible film (at least for her), and combines a sense of absurd humor with the erotic. Not a great film, but one that catches your attention.
REVIEWED ON 7/26/2006 GRADE: B
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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