Set over three days, the short span of time belies the epic nature of the story told in this cult classic, feminist story by Chantal Akerman.
Time in film is made by manipulating the plot, using techniques that typically, speed up and intensify the story. But there is also a strain of filmmaking that brings time to the forefront of the experience, makes it visible and perhaps even the subject of the work. These are films that refuse to be in a hurry – sometimes they are very long, sometimes they only seem very long: as Geoff Dyer has written of L’avventura “every second lasted a minute, every minute lasted an hour.” They drag you out of your 9-5 routine.
This 1975 film by Chantal Akerman is a celebrated example. Jeanne (Delphine Seyrig) performs her duties as a housewife: boiling potatoes, cleaning, but also servicing clients to make up her income. Bound and bored by routine, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday all include their own subtle and monumental changes, culminating in a fascinating climax.