Les rendez-vous d’Anna
Nomadic filmmaker (and Akerman's alter ego) Aurore Clément is on a promotional tour through Europe for her new film. Through a series of tense encounters – with a potential lover, her ex-fiancé's mother, her current lover, her own mother (Lea Massari, the vanishing Anna from Antonioni's L'Avventura), and more – Anna becomes the focal point for a gathering of lost souls, unwittingly falling into a deep existential misery that spreads to others like a contagion.
Akerman deploys her distinctive static, symmetrical frontal compositions and fluid tracking shots. The stylization of her introspective travelogue is akin to Bresson and Dreyer, with precise, seemingly placid images actually heightening emotion and rendering her characters' mental states physically visible. It all results in a film about longing, loneliness, displacement, sexual identity, mother-daughter relationships and the lingering spectre of war.