The Capitol acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. We respectfully acknowledge their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. We also acknowledge the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.

Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975)

An introduction by Cerise Howard – RMIT Media and Communication studio leader and and co-curator of the Melbourne Cinémathèque

The umbrage in some quarters that greeted Vertigo’s (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958) ascension to the throne in 2012’s ten-yearly Sight & Sound poll of the “Greatest Films of All Time” was as nothing compared to that which greeted its dethronement late last year by a film that had ranked a mere 35th the poll prior.

With Sight & Sound producing what has long been taken as the most canonical of lists of canonical films and their exalted directors – in anglophone territories, at least, and to some extent exceeding them – the new Queen of the Canon is Chantal Akerman’s (1950-2015) singularly rigorous, pointedly feminist, durational cinema masterpiece from 1975, Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles.

Mine will be the great joy of introducing the film at a rare screening at The Capitol on Thursday 27 April, during which I’ll relish rubbishing frankly embarrassing laments from the likes of Paul Schrader – a prominent critic and director, and the screenwriter of Scorsese’s Taxi Driver (#29 in the latest S&S poll) – who promptly declared that Jeanne Dielman’s rise to the top had rendered it “a landmark of distorted woke reappraisal”. Oh, Paul…

Released: 1975

Duration: 3hrs 22min

Country: Belgium

Director: Chantal Akerman

Language: French

Rating: M