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Themesicon: navigation pathArt and Cinematographyicon: navigation pathAkerman
Wavelength (Snow, Michael), 1967

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dialogue between Godard and Warhol: the seeming obliviousness of the cinematic (camera movement, framing, and editing) toward the profilmic activates a kind of spectator participation that inaugurates a post-Godardian reflexivity. For Akerman, this will mean a camera address less intent on revealing or mediating a statement of truth, a camera address that locks the spectator within a mechanical, apparently unmotivated mise-en-scène. The unmotivated (Warholian) camera confronts two pulsating materialities, two bodies: one is the character's cinematic body, the other the body of the spectator. Between these different rhythms—that of camera, performer, and spectator—a tension creates the specific theatricality of structural minimalist film. Benning's staging of micro occurrences to brush up against his static landscape shots in «11 X 14,» and Snow's quasi-narrative mementos in «Wavelength» (1967) and «Back and Forth» (1969), are additional bodies in this economy.


Akerman's affiliation with the structural-minimalist film project is singularly qualified. Given her commitment to


narrative, other factors need attention, notably her conception of character. Akerman's [narrative] cinema restages a scenario of indifference. The relation between absorption and theatricality maintained in «Jeanne Dielman», «Je tu il elle,» and « Les Rendez-vous d'Anna» indicates the desire to reexperience, through representation, the choice between turning the face toward the scene and turning it toward the audience. The characters' relations among themselves and with the audience are not mutually exclusive here, but animate each other with a certain instability. It is the hyperbolic focus on the text that helps create this oscillation between scene and audience. [20] If Akerman's films seem theatrical it is because they often include information that might be necessary on the stage, or in a book, but is redundant in film. [21] Akerman challenges the didactic thrust of quotation, charging her text instead with conflicting functions. Sometimes the text telegraphs information through an excess of verbiage; sometimes the release of unwarranted information is sanctioned on other, not immediately functional levels. Akerman may alter the rhythmic value of a given sentence,

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