Chantal Akerman dead: Influential, experimental feminist filmmaker dies aged 65

She created 'the first masterpiece of the feminine in the history of the cinema'

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The Independent Culture

Belgian film director Chantal Akerman, an icon of feminist filmmaking and avant-garde cinema, has died at the age of 65.

Best known for her three-hour 1975 film, Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, her death comes as a surprise given she appeared at the Locarno film festival only last month with her new film No Home Video, a video essay about her mother and Auschwitz survivor, Natalia.

Akerman was inspired to create her own films by Jean-Luc Godard’s 1965’s Pierrot le fou, and she went on to influence Gus Van Sant, among other directors.

The New York Times described Jeanne Dielman as “the first masterpiece of the feminine in the history of the cinema”. It featured several of the long, still takes she became known for, seeing a middle-aged widow going about domestic tasks in a claustrophobic Brussels flat.

Those who want to learn more about her work can do so at the first UK exhibition of her films, which is scheduled to take place at the Ambika P3 in London at the end of the month.

"Ambika P3 and A Nos Amours are profoundly shocked and saddened to hear that the great pioneering film-maker and artist Chantal Akerman has died," a representative said. "This month , the major exhibition of her installation work will take place at Ambika P3, London and the UK  premiere of her latest feature film will be shown at the Regent Street Cinema."

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