No one would have guessed ten years ago that the director of Jeanne Dielman would someday turn out to be a brilliant director of comedy, but these two films—her most recent—are little marvels. L’homme a la valise, made for French television, is an hour-long sketch about a towering American friend who turns up one day at the diminutive Akerman’s door; he settles in for a nice, long visit, slowly driving his hostess crazy with his bulky presence. All of the themes of Akerman’s early films are there—claustrophobia, sexual tension, the tyranny of the everyday, the impossibility of communication—but transformed into the basis of a Keatonesque comedy of space and survival. J’ai faim, j’ai froid is Akerman’s episode from the omnibus film Paris vu par . . . vingt ans apres; you probably won’t see a funnier, more pointed and stylistically assured 20 minutes of film this year. Its protagonists are two tiny Belgian teenagers, come to Paris in search of their first adult experiences. They speak in a chirpy, staccato harmony, frankly stating their desires—“I’m hungry, I’m cold.” By the end of the film, they’ve been answered in an unexpected way.