One of Akerman's lesser‐known films, Portrait d'une jeune fille de la fin des années 60 à Bruxelles (Portrait of a Young Girl in the Late Sixties in Brussels, Belgium, 1993) provides a critical lens for discovering the cinéfille as a concept for Akerman's cinema and feminist film theory. Cinéfille is conceptually both similar to and different from its near homophone, cinéphile, and aligns the moving image (ciné) with the girl (fille). The article develops the concept in relation to three areas: the possibility of a cine‐love before and beyond the masculine frame of cinephilia; Akerman's complex relation to her own cinematic becoming and cinema's historiography; and the distinct temporality and duration of cinema produced by and for the figure of the girl. The article demonstrates that in Akerman's filmmaking, the figure of girl as cinéfille is not a position of resistance, nor a scene of perpetual adolescence, but a positive queer feminist creative engagement with the possibility of new forms of knowing, relating, and desiring. Attending to the emergence of the cinéfille and cinefillia allows us to articulate a sense of looking back that is not simply tied to nostalgia and loss. It also reveals a moment of creative discovery and intensity that emerges in the durational aesthetic form for which Akerman's cinema is well known. The cinéfille is a form of becoming realized in cinema.

You do not currently have access to this content.