The overdetermined formalism of what was called "structural" filmmaking, when it wasn't simply the product of pedantry, was connected with trauma. Discussions of Paul Sharits as an artist of some sort of Greenbergian abstraction are absurd.
The connection is to Warhol and Robert Wilson
N+1 publishes a mash note to "Chantal" written by an expert in "brand semiotics" at Truthco. Scott Hamrah, who "has worked in almost every brand category there is, from automotive and beauty to liquor and finance, from hotel chains and media to candy and pharmaceuticals," says Akerman "ended up a Simone Weil of the cinema..." He'd probably say the same thing about Aaron Swartz and tech.
The tragedy of Akerman is the tragedy of self-absorption and self-punishing narcissism. That was the material she worked with; others just wallow in it. It's the difference between wanting to yell at the screen and wanting to walk out of the theater. It's disgusting how much this country is still founded on optimism
Akerman's long takes are not the product of intellectual, cerebral, distance; they originate in the passive observation by children of the world of adults. Seyrig and Mangolte added an aggression both behind and in front of the camera that Akerman was incapable of. But having seen only Je, Tu, il, Elle my first experience of what I sensed as looking through the female gaze was I Can't Sleep, by Claire Denis, Agnes Godard, and Nelly Quettier.
I'm not done with any of this.