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THE SONG CAVE
My Mother Laughs
By Chantal Akerman. Translated by Corina Copp.
"A memoir in the form of a poetic musing on the inevitability of death and the difficulty of letting loved ones go.” –Alex Greenberger, ARTnews
First published in France in 2013, My Mother Laughs is the final book written by the legendary and beloved Belgian artist and director Chantal Akerman (1950–2015) before her death. A moving and unforgettable memoir, the book delves deeply into one of the central themes and focuses of Akerman’s often autobiographical films: her mother, who was the direct subject of her final film No Home Movie (2015).
With a particular focus on the difficulties Akerman faced in conjunction with the end of her mother’s life, the book combines a matter-of-fact writing style with family photographs and stills from her own films in order to better convey the totality of her experience. Akerman writes: "With pride because I finally believed in my ability to say something that I’d had trouble saying. I told myself, I am strong for once, I speak. I tell the truth."
Chantal Akerman (1950–2015) was a Belgian film director, screenwriter, artist and professor. She is best known for her film Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975), which was dubbed a "masterpiece" by the New York Times. During her 42 years of active filmmaking, Akerman's influence on queer, feminist and avant-garde cinema remains unmatched, her films highlighting a near-physical passage of time. Akerman's films have been shown at the Venice Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival and the New York Film Festival, among many others.
Featured image is reproduced from 'My Mother Laughs.'
PRAISE AND REVIEWS
Chantal Akerman’s My Mother Laughs is a shattering memoir about her octogenarian mother’s final years and an intimate companion piece to her documentary on the same subject, 2015’s No Home Movie.
My Mother Laughs [is] a memoir in the form of a poetic musing on the inevitability of death and the difficulty of letting loved ones go.
My Mother Laughs may be Akerman’s most interior, psychological work. It’s one final message from the artist, illuminating the mottled effect her mother had on her life and creativity.
Just as Chantal Akerman’s films linger on objects and people, her final book My Mother Laughs (2019) – recently published in the US by The Song Cave – lingers on the daily stresses of caretaking for her dying mother and interpersonal family anxieties.
The Film Stage
[My Mother Laughs is] a reminder that Akerman’s voice was utterly unique.
“My Mother Laughs,” the last complete book by the director Chantal Akerman, is full of whats and hows and whys that linger unanswerably in the memory.
a heart-wrenching read… with Akerman’s words transitioning unmarked into those of the other (always female) key figures in the book: her mother, sister, lover.
STATUS: Out of stock
Temporarily out of stock pending additional inventory.
FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 1/31/2020
Called a "shattering memoir about her octogenarian mother's final years" by Film Comment and Chantal Akerman's "most interior, psychological work" by Hyperallergic, My Mother Laughs is the last book authored by the influential Belgian filmmaker, who died in 2015, just one year after her mother and lifelong muse. "I wrote all of this and now I no longer like what I've written," the book begins. "It was before, before the broken shoulder, before the heart operation, before the pulmonary embolism, before my sister or brother-in-law calls so I may say goodbye to her (forever). Before she returns home to Brussels forever.
Before she laughs.
Before I understand that I might have misunderstood everything.
Before I understand that I had only a truncated and imaginary vision. And that I was capable of only that. Not the truth, not of anything even resembling the truth." continue to blog
THE SONG CAVE
USD $20.00 | CAN $29.95
Pub Date: 6/18/2019
Active | Out of stock