Insomnies (Samy Szlingerbaum, 1979) - © CINEMATEK


Belgian filmmaker Samy Szlingerbaum directed the short film Le 15/8 in 1973 together with Chantal Akerman. He then made two short films of his own, including this nocturnal Insomnies, which rhythmically and associatively depicts the neon lights of the Belgian capital—like a dream. A mostly formal experiment of barely nine minutes.  

A few years later, Szlingerbaum would make his only feature film, Brussels Transit, in which he tells the story of his parents who moved to Brussels and built a life there after World War II. Szlingerbaum died at the young age of 36.

The short film precedes Chantal Akerman’s Toute une nuit.

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Chantal Akerman is omnipresent in Brussels this spring with a retrospective at Bozar and her entire oeuvre on display at CINEMATEK. The short film is an intimate portrait of a young woman who, during her day-to-day routines, reflects on her family, sex life, and body.


A young couple in Kyoto. A girl makes up an excuse to run away from her monotonous life. She would like to say something to her boyfriend. Can she still return now that night is falling?


Belgian filmmaker Chantal Akerman, who passed away in 2015, has gained worldwide fame. Nothing is quiet about her first short film, Blow Up My Town (1968). Her character is abrupt, energetic, and explosive. Something is teetering. This short film is a visionary prelude to the filmmaker’s oeuvre and life.