Between Fiction and Documentary: The 'Scandalous property'of 'realness' in Chantal Akerman's filmmaking
Alison Rowley (Speaker)
Activity: Talk or presentation types › Oral presentation
Panel 3: Fiction and Documentary Interviewed in 2012 for Cinéma du Réel, the international documentary film festival in Paris, Chantal Akerman said ‘I think all great fiction films have something of documentary’. Two examples she chose as illustrations were F.W. Murnau’s Tabu (1929) and Robert Bresson’s Au Hassard Balthazar (1966). Chantal Akerman has spoken about the role played by Tabu in her free adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s novel Almayer’s Folly but has been less direct about the example of Bresson’s filmmaking for her own. Taking as case studies La Captive and La Folie Almayer the intention of this paper is to draw out some relations between Akerman, Murau and Bresson in their approach to storytelling in film. In so doing it might be possible to argue, with the support of a recently published essay by Italian political philosopher Olivia Guaraldo, that in between documentary and fiction, so marked in Chantal Akerman’s filmmaking is the setting for the ‘scandalous property’ of ‘realness’ Hannah Arendt understood as politics.