teksty trzecie

Marsha Kinder, „The Meetings of Anna by Chantal Akerman”

„Film Quarterly” Vol. 33, No. 1 (Autumn, 1979) pdf

Anna is a fictional version of Akerman (which she acknowledged following the screening at Filmex), just as Heinrich is presumably a member of her audience. The audience comes to the theater with expectations based on past film-viewing experience. Akerman cannot fulfill those expectations and remain true to herself as an independent artist. Her films are valuable precisely because they deconstruct the narrative conventions that mold our false conceptions of reality. Conventional dramatic features have trained us to expect to meet protagonists early in the narrative and immediately to love them, partly by identifying them with ourselves or with other loved ones from our personal past. This means that we really don’t have to get to know the protagonist, for we can project qualities onto a two-dimensional figure in conventional situations and feel that we’ve known her for ages! But in this film we are forced to get to know Anna in an unusual way – partly because she is on screen alone so much of the time (we are used to getting acquainted with film characters through their interactions with others and their involvements in plots) and partly because her qualities are revealed very gradually. This process is actually closer to real experience, for we get to know ourselves in the time we spend alone, and we get to know others by a gradual exposure to a wide range of behavior. In both cases, we eventually recognize the combination of the unique and the conventional so that the person is no longer interchangeable with others.

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