Je tu il elle

Belgium/France 1974. Dir: Chantal Akerman. 86 min. DCP

NEW RESTORATION! The first feature by the late Belgian auteur Chantal Akerman is a provocative, acutely-personal meditation on the terrifying need for human contact, and a formative aesthetic precursor to her 1975 masterwork Jeanne Dielman. Structured in three movements, it begins with the film’s protagonist and narrator alone in a cramped apartment; she rearranges furniture, removes her clothes, writes then scraps a letter, eats sugar from the bag. Disillusioned with her self-imposed isolation, she hitches a ride with a truck driver and passively, perfunctorily satisfies his sexual urges. Finally, she visits a former girlfriend; they share a meal and, in a remarkably uninhibited 10-minute sequence, make love. While the film’s austere minimalism renders its examination of loneliness and desire almost clinical, the intimate nature of the material is suggested by the personal pronouns of the title (I, You, He, She) — and by the presence of Akerman herself in the brave, vulnerable lead role.


"A vital piece of performative cinema ... Akerman was an expressive, fearless filmmaker."

Sight & Sound | full review