Panel Discussion
Chantal Akerman’s Legacy

Moderated by film critic Nicholas Elliott

Post-Talk Toast at 6pm

Saturday, March 7, 2020
FIAF Tinker Auditorium

Film critic Nicholas Elliott leads this discussion of the prolific and varied output of Chantal Akerman, delving into the themes and subjects that infused her films, her process, and the wide-ranging inspirations that contributed to her rich and eclectic body of work.

Nicholas Elliott will be joined by Akerman’s former partner, cellist Sonia Wieder-Atherton, screenwriter Leora Barish (Desperately Seeking Susan, Basic Instinct 2); filmmaker and screenwriter Henry Bean (Noise, Internal Affairs, Golden Eighties); and filmmaker, actor, and screenwriter Andrew Bujalski (Computer Chess, Support the Girls), who studied with Akerman at Harvard University.

In English
90 minutes

  • About Nicholas Elliott
    • Nicholas Elliott is a programmer for the Locarno Film Festival and the long-time American correspondent for Cahiers du Cinéma in New York. His writing on Chantal Akerman has appeared in Cahiers du Cinéma, BOMB, and the 2014 collective monograph “Chantal Akerman” published by Bande(s) à part/Magic Cinéma. In 2016, he accompanied a retrospective of Chantal Akerman’s films to Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto, presenting selected works in the context of events organized by Cahiers du Cinéma and the French Institute in Japan. His writing on film has also appeared in Film Comment, The Criterion Collection, and collective volumes on Philippe Garrel and Ryusuke Hamaguchi. Photo © Michela Di Savino

  • About Sonia Wieder-Atherton
    • Sonia Wieder-Atherton has treated music as a laboratory, constantly exploring and experiments across genres and repertoires. For her, playing Bach or Beethoven requires the same inquiry and exercise as playing Jewish songs or those of Nina Simone, Born in San Francisco to a mother of Romanian origin and an American father, she grew up in New York and later Paris, where she studied at the Conservatoire National Supérieur with Maurice Gendron. At the age of 19 she crossed the Iron Curtain to live in Moscow and study with Natalia Shakhovskaya at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory. Six years later, she was a laureate at the 1986 Rostropovich Competition in Paris. Wieder-Atherton has championed contemporary composers including Pascal Dusapin, Georges Aperghis, and Wolfgang Rihm, who have written works for her. She has performed as a soloist with the Paris Orchestra, French National Orchestra, Belgian National Orchestra, Liège Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonia, Gulbenkian Orchestra (Lisbon), the Philharmonic Orchestra of Luxembourg, the NDR Orchestra (Hanover), and many others. Additionally she has recorded and performed regularly with musicians like Imogen Cooper and Raphaël Oleg. She has conceived of cross-genre performances such as From the East in Music, incorporating footage from Chantal Akerman’s film D’Est, and projects with Charlotte Rampling and Fanny Ardant. In 2014, she released Little Girl Blue, a recording conceived like a letter to Nina Simone. In 2011 she was one of three artists awarded by the Fondation Renée-et-Léonce Bernheim and she was named a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters in 2015.

  • About Leora Barish
    • Leora Barish is a writer of screenplays (Desperately Seeking Susan) poetry (Iowa WW), stage plays and fiction. She has  worked as a bus driver, musician, stage-light operator, advocate and grassroots organizer for food & environmental justice and military veterans. She is executive director of Heroic Food, a farmer training program for veterans in the Hudson Valley.

  • About Henry Bean
    • Henry Bean is a writer (of screenplays and fiction) and sometimes a director. He wrote and directed The Believer, which won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 2001. His novel, False Match won an L.A. Pen award in 1983. Among his screenplays are Golden Eighties, Internal Affairs and Deep Cover. He worked on K Street for HBO and The OA for Netflix. His fiction has appeared in McSweeney’s, Black Clock and elsewhere.  He lives in New York.

  • About Andrew Bujalski
    • Andrew Bujalski, born in Boston in 1977, studied filmmaking at Harvard’s Department of Visual and Environmental Studies, where Chantal Akerman was his thesis advisor. He has written and directed six independent feature films, beginning with Funny Ha Ha in 2002 and Mutual Appreciation in 2005. He appeared as an actor in these films and has occasionally acted for other directors including Joe Swanberg and Bob Byington. Since 2009’s Beeswax he has lived and worked in Austin, TX. Recent films include Computer Chess (winner of the Alfred Sloan Prize at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival), Results, and Support the Girls. Beyond his independent work, he has worked professionally as a screenwriter and director for Disney, Paramount, Miramax, HBO, Netflix, and Hulu.