The September 25 2006



Reading Monday, September 25, 2006, 8pm

La Centrale is honored to invite Chantal Akerman for the reading of her first story Une famille à Bruxelles, published by les éditions de L'Arche in 1998.

The reading accompanies the complete retrospective of her films, as well as a video installation and a photography exhibition at the Cinémathèque québécoise from September 28 to October 15 2006.

Her book Une famille à Bruxelles is a pure marvel, a hymn to love. It is read with the impression of her presence, right next to us. Through the most banal words, she delivers a story which seems to be her own.

A mother, living alone in a Brussels apartment, her husband just passed away. There is the far-away family and the close family as a set, there is also the phone to maintain the link between them. Chantal Akerman describes to us a space where everything begins, where everything happens, where we love to hug, to meet and to greet. A space full of warmth and humour too.

The book seems to be a single and long sentence that never stops. She repeats daily events in a two-voice monologue, the mother and the daughter. The voices mingle and slip, one, the other, in fusion, up to the point of confounding them. From there, a third voice appears, one that we imagine, the grandmother who died in the camps. Following the thread of the story, the gaze changes, we let ourselves be overwhelmed, trouble appears, emotion takes over. We are now situated in a space of truth.

Through this book, we can see all of her films over again, read all of her books. We hear her voice carried through long phrases, her lively rythm, her repetitions. The apparent banality of her words and conversations that are repeated let an enormous tenderness escape.

Through this everyday life, she takes us from her own world to the entire world.

All this to say that it may never be enough since there is no true sense, no why to things.

Who better than Chantal Akerman to share this story live an outloud, here and now.

This voice that characterises her, the voice in all her films, in the same familiar tone, the same dymamic rythm, with her husky resonance. Who best to share this story without artifice, through a narrative, hers and all those we can imagine.

A story which will embody quietly, beyond all images, all spectacle. A simple voice, a text, a presence, to speak freely.

CONTACT : Caroline Pierret, curator

T : 514.276.5435

Warm thanks to La Cinémathèque québécoise
and to La Délégation Wallonie-Bruxelles au Québec