Lars von Trier is very, very, very clever about women. He gives the woman a space that I don't know any filmmaker does. Because in Breaking The Waves, protagonist Emily Watson is the Christ. Which man is doing that? I don't know any man giving that space to a woman. No one.

— Chantal Akerman

The most courageous Chantal Akerman quotes to discover and learn by heart

I had an awful joke about Auschwitz I drove everybody crazy with that joke.

But that joke makes me feel good. You know what "cuit" means? When something is cooked. It's a joke like that: "What are the birds doing when they fly over Auschwitz? 'Cuit! Cuit!'" It's awful, but it's desacralizing. For me, it's good.

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Paris is not so square. I'm not good at the geography of the city in Paris, so I'm always lost. Here, in New York, you can never be lost. In Paris, even when I walk to my gallery or whatever, I always take another route, because Paris is not built that way.

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Delphine Seyrig is a very proper woman, from high society.

She's from the Ferdinand de Saussure family, the structuralist. Old money. Swiss. Protestant. They were that type of well-educated people who could recognize a good artist before others, and she was like that. Even if it was against something inside her. Tell me one actress in 1972 in France, except Delphine, at her level, who would love Hôtel Monterey. No one.

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When I'm in my neighborhood, I don't see anything anymore, because I'm so used to it. When I go somewhere else, suddenly, I'm alive. I'm on alert, and I can be fresh.

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My father said, "Okay, enough with the Jewish school.

" He put me into a public school and he said, "If you are the first one in your class, that means the school is bad." That was his humor.

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What I hate in movies is all those people you need.

And then I realize I do better when I shoot by myself.

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Have you seen the film Histoires D'Amérique? It's also a mixture of humor and monologue, and it shows how the Jewish humor comes from drama and tragedy.

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The jail thing is very, very present in all of my work.

.. Sometimes not very frontally. The jail is coming from the camps, because my mother was in the camps, and she internalized that and gave it to me.

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I wanted to write and then I saw Pierrot and I understand that I could express myself in a more... Also probably, I had an intuition that if I was going to only write, I will stay in one room all the time and never go out. I felt that if I was going to make movies, I would have to communicate with people and it would be good for me.

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I went at 4:30 in the morning to a café 500 meters from my place.

And it was another city... Totally different than where I go every day. And I said, "God, I will do that again." That's another subject I want to do. It's my street, suddenly different at 5:00 in the morning. I can shoot for one week. That's enough to make a movie.

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She who seeks shall find, find all to well, and end up clouding her vision with her own preconceptions.

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I'm Jewish. That's all. So I am in exile all the time. Wherever we go, we are in exile. Even in Israel, we are in exile.

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About Chantal Akerman

Quotes 15 sayings
Profession Film director
Birthday June 6, 1950

You have to understand that I'm a child of the second generation, which means my mother was in Auschwitz, and the aunt of my mother was in Auschwitz with her; my grandmother and grandfather died there. So yes. All of those gestures they work for you, or for them, to fill their time or not feel their anxiety. But the child feels everything. It doesn't make the child secure. You put the child in a jail.

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Look at Charlotte Gainsbourg, in the Lars von Trier film Antichrist.

She's unbelievable. She doesn't act; she's there. She's great. And you love her for that, because it's so daring, what she has to do. And she does it as if it is nothing. I think she's brave. I fell in love with her when I saw that film. She is a revelation. Total revelation.

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