This essay begins by placing Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles in the context of its theatrical release in 1976, considering, first of all, its screening at the Edinburgh Film Festival and then the importance of the film both in its own right and within feminist experimental filmmaking at the time. To analyze a film that has, over the last forty years, been the subject of extremely illuminating critical writing, the essay focuses on its relation to the domestic melodrama, with particular attention to the topography of Jeanne's apartment, its mise-en-scene, the film's use of language, and its undercurrent of humor.

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