The intellectual equivalent of a ham sandwich.

In 1976, the twenty-six-year-old Belgian director Chantal Akerman returned to New York – the site of her wanderings earlier in the decade – to make “News from Home,” a serene and monumental time capsule of Manhattan streetscapes and subways. Akerman transformed her luminous, textured images of the city’s rectilinear majesty by means of a simple yet radical gesture: she paired them, on the soundtrack, with her own reading of newsy and needy letters that her mother wrote from their home town of Brussels.

The New Yorker

Other feature films that Akerman was rumored to have considered:

  • Beautiful shots of city basketball courts, paired with a recording of husky breathing by her aging grandmother
  • Picturesque desert sunsets, with superimposed images of skyscraper construction sites, and paired with a looped recording of a mom asking, “Say cheese! … Wait is this on movie mode? How do I make this take a -“
  • A split screen view with one side having breathtaking footage of Yosemite Natural Park, and the other side a small but busy barbershop, paired with flopped Rodney Dangerfield jokes
  • Vignettes of stray city cats paired with a doting father’s advice and lessons teaching a son or daughter how to drive a car
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