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Chantal Akerman's Jeanne Dielman, 23 is the best film made by women - Filmymantra
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Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman, 23 is the best film made by women

Key takeaways: 

  • A movie directed by a woman has been picked as the greatest of all time by experts.
  • Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, made by Chantal Akerman, has beaten the British Film Institute’s Sight and Sound poll.

It is the first time a project made by a woman has got to the top ten. The poll, which runs every ten years, has been criticised for lack of assortment.

The winning spot was kept for 40 years by Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane.

It was surpassed in 2012 by Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo.

Jeanne Dielman came in 1975 and is the tale of a Belgian widow who turns to prostitution to earn ends meet but kills one of her customers. The movie runs for nearly three and a half hours.

Though not as well-known outside the planet of film criticism as prior winners, it has been praised as a “masterpiece” and a ground-breaking work of feminist movies.

Chantal Akerman, the Belgian director, died in 2015 aged 65.

Lillian Crawford, a film analyst and writer who contributed to the vote, said the movie was the “essential text” in feminist theatre.

“Jeanne Dielman isn’t a movie that I would say to someone getting into theatre ‘, Oh, this is the first movie you definitely must see,” she told the BBC.

If you’re going to work through the list, perhaps do it in reverse order and make it towards it because it’s quite an ask to request people to see this.

“But in an intellectual sense and thinking about movies and inspiring more people to seek out the experimental movie, films by females, and in terms of the history of feminist theatre, this is definitely the kind of essential text.”

In an article for the British Film Institute, Laura Mulvey, a teacher of film studies at Birkbeck University, called the poll a “sudden shake-up”.

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