Golden Eighties + inleiding

Chantal Akerman

With Myriam Boyer, Delphine Seyrig, Fanny Cottencon
BE/FR/CH – 1986 – DCP – 96′
French spoken, Dutch subtitles
Film starts with a live introduction at 20:00

As one of Belgium’s most celebrated filmmakers, Chantal Akerman (1950 – 2015) is in the spotlight this year. In Brussels, Bozar is organizing a major retrospective exhibition of her work, while several other exhibition spaces are using her work as a starting point for group exhibitions. If one thing is clear from this attention, it is that Akerman inspires and is more relevant than ever. 

Known for her serious, slow-paced films, often with a feminist perspective, Golden Eighties is a bit of an outlier. Not in terms of themes, but in terms of tone. The film takes the form of a lively Hollywood musical. In a shopping gallery, staff and customers cross paths and meet daily in Lili’s hairdressing salon, in the Schwartz family’s clothing boutique, or at Sylvie’s bistro. They all dream about love. They talk, dance and sing, all punctuated by the shampoo girls’ choruses.  

An excellent ensemble cast, including Delphine Seyrig and eighties pop star Lio, slides through the shopping arcade in a finely directed choreography and to the tones of an infectious pop soundtrack. Akerman herself wrote the lyrics for the deceptively cheerful songs and constantly misleads the viewer. Is this film really an ironic critique of the hyper-commercial 1980s or rather a loving reverie about everyday life? Akerman thoroughly indulged in the sound design for this film, which is packed with small but meaningful finds. From the click of high heels on the floor to the unwelcome sound of a zipper to the ever-changing tone and volume of the many conversations and chants. 


The film is part of Avila, Presents! in collaboration with Film Fest Ghent On Tour, Cinea, Fondation Chantal Akerman, and Cinematek.


17.05.2024, 20:00