New York

“A Question Of Silence”

The agenda of narrative film seldom allows for any impertinence or surprise, for any disruption in the representation of dominance. Thanks to a number of canny minds still at work in commercial cinema both in America and Europe, we can catch slight glimpses of slippages, but their best chance of congealing into broader representations is probably within the framework of independent film. A powerful example of this mode of dislocation is Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, an extraordinary gaze into a social (and unsocial) life. Another is A Question of Silence, a first feature by Dutch filmmaker Marleen Gorris shown in the “New Directors/New Films” series organized by the Museum of Modern Art and the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Although lacking the esthetic achievement of Akerman’s work, A Question of Silence is a riveting exposition, combining baroque

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