Women in Art : Chantal Akerman

la captive balcony 2

Chantal Akerman (1968-2015) transformed Marcel Proust’s La Prisonnière, into a gorgeous, melancholy film, La Captive (2000). This is a still from my favorite scene. Ariana hears her upstairs neighbor singing part of a duet from Così fan Tutte, “Prenderò quel brunettino,” and answers the invisible singer. The two voices merge in a beautiful a cappella performance. Neither woman is a trained opera singer, and there is something poignant in this performance — in its purity and simplicity — which carries a certain naïveté. It offers a beauty found, rather than made–unaffected, without artifice, sudden and fragile as a wildflower.

Watch the scene.

 

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