MOVIE #1,487 • 🍿🍿🍿🍿🍿🍿🍿🍿 • 03.28.24 ALBERT & AKERMAN: AN AUTEURIST STUDY IN CONTRAST + CONTINUUM [Obvious Tommy Wiseau joke here...

The Room

MOVIE #1,487 • 🍿🍿🍿🍿🍿🍿🍿🍿 • 03.28.24

[Obvious Tommy Wiseau joke here]

This is a totally silent ten-minute short featuring a very slow pan around an apartment. We see a woman — again, Akerman herself — appear lying on a bed who has seemingly just awakened in some kind of anxious or confused state on the second pass. After the third spin around, the rotation reverses and she is licking then eating an apple. The circular movement is slowly broken, returning back to the subject with more frequency — as if the camera (or gaze) just happens to become aware that there’s a person in this room — until we see her rubbing her eyes, yawning and the film ends. There is a lovely simplicity here, like a still life as panopticon.
It’s familiar territory for Akerman: the female as prisoner in static domesticity. The absence of sound presents this glimpse literally in a vacuum. The cyclic viewpoint is not necessarily a male gaze, but rather the gaze of everyone, the eyes of the world. We tend not to do much with this information, if we notice it at all. That the act of eating an apple, and all its biblical undertones, is what ultimately calls the camera’s attention is meaningful: it’s consumed in an almost animalistic way as if to say, “This is what you want?” or, “This is what you’ve always wanted.”

In Guy Bellinger’s featured IMDb synopsis, he believes that she is consuming an orange…

The difference between apples and oranges: it’s all in how you look at it. Or, more directly: the decision to look in the first place.

⫷ MOVIE #1,486 - (YOU ARE HERE) - MOVIE #1,488 ⫸

Furniture and clutter of one small apartment room become the subject of a moving still life—with Akerman herself staring back. This breakthrough formal experiment is Akerman’s first film made in New York. It was released on September 6, 1972.


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