“René Magritte’s painting Man With Newspaper (1927-1928) tells me something about the customary disquiet of Akerman’s world. In it, four panels, two on top and two on the bottom, show the same corner of a sitting room, with one difference: in the first panel a man is seated at the table by the window reading a newspaper, and in the other three panels, neither the man nor the newspaper is in evidence. A narrative is implied between the first and second panel – the disappearance of the man and newspaper – without being confirmed, and we’re left with the eerie fact of three identical ‘empty’ rooms. Similarly, many of Akerman’s settings suggest absence even more than presence.”
- 1. Jonathan Rosenbaum, Movies and Politics (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997).