With Sonia Wieder-Atherton / Avec Sonia Wieder-Atherton (2003)
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Since the 1980s, famed cellist Sonia Wieder-Atherton has been present in much of Chantal Akerman’s work, whether through her numerous collaborations soundtracks, or as a protagonist (as in Rue Mallet-Stevens, 1986), or in this case, as the subject of an extended documentary portrait. The film begins with a voiceover from Akerman, describing and situating her subject, after which Wieder-Atherton takes over the narrative, sitting before the camera for an extended presentation of her life and art. Wieder-Atherton then performs some short pieces by Claudio Monteverdi, Luciano Berio, Leos Janacek, Johannes Brahms and Franz Schubert, either solo or accompanied by a small ensemble. As well as insights into an artist, this film offers a precious cinematic moment of listening.