Agnès Varda

Agnès Varda – Kung-fu master! (1988)

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Aesthetically, Agnès Varda’s two 1988 features, Jane B. par Agnes V. and Kung-Fu Master!, are diametrically opposed, but they’re linked by the showcase opportunities that they provide actress, singer, and model Jane Birkin. Kung-Fu Master! is, on its surface at least, a straightforward drama, one that concerns a middle-aged single mother, Mary-Jane (Birkin), finding herself smitten by her adolescent daughter’s classmate, Julien (Mathieu Demy). But like any story about this kind of subject matter, the simplicity of the setup belies the moral and emotional quandary it underpins. Even the midlife crisis suggested by Mary-Jane’s infatuation must be viewed within the context of the pressure that society, not internal doubt, places on women who turn 40. Read More »

Agnès Varda – Jane B. par Agnès V. AKA Jane B. for Agnes V. (1988)

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There is a good theory that explains why Agnes Varda’s Jane B. for Agnes V. was never officially distributed in the United States. Apparently, the few distributors that saw it after Varda completed it in 1988 concluded that it was too abstract and therefore too risky to sign. So until recently, it had been screened only a few times at festivals and retrospectives. Read More »

Agnès Varda – Lions Love (1969)

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Agnes Varda directed this drama which combines formal dramatic structures with the openness of improvisational cinema verite. Independent filmmaker Shirley Clarke plays an avant-garde film director attempting to work with a major studio to finance her next project, in which she hopes to collaborate with James Rado and Jerome Ragni, creators of the musical Hair (who play themselves). She also wants to use Andy Warhol superstar Viva (who also appears as herself) as her leading lady. However, after much give and take between herself and the moneymen, the director learns that the plug has been pulled on her project, pushing her to the brink of suicide. Read More »

Agnès Varda – Les Cent et une nuits de Simon Cinéma AKA A Hundred and One Nights of Simon Cinema (1995)

Monsieur Cinema, a hundred years old, lives alone in a large villa. His memories fade away, so he engages a young woman to tell him stories about all the movies ever made. Also a line of movie stars comes to visit him giving him back the pleasure of life – but amongst them there are also some young students only striving after his money for the realization of their film projects. The two stories – Monsieur Cinema’s and the young people’s life – are told in parallel until they come together in the end when the old man plays a role in the film made by the students. Read More »

Agnès Varda – Oncle Yanco AKA Uncle Yanco (1967)

Synopsis
While in San Francisco for the promotion of her last film in October 1967, Agnès Varda, tipped by her friend Tom Luddy, gets to know a relative she had never heard of before, Jean Varda, nicknamed “Yanco”. This hitherto unknown uncle lives on a boat in Sausalito, is a painter, has adopted a hippie lifestyle and loves life. The meeting is a very happy one. Read More »

Didier Rouget & Agnès Varda – Varda by Agnès (2019)

An unpredictable documentary from a fascinating storyteller, Agnès Varda’s next film sheds light on her experience as a director, bringing a personal insight to what she calls “cine-writing,” traveling from Rue Daguerre in Paris to Los Angeles and Beijing. Read More »

Agnès Varda – L’une chante, l’autre pas aka One Sings One Doesn’t (1977)

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The intertwined lives of 2 women in 1970’s France, set against the progress of the women’s movement in which Agnes Varda was involved. Pomme and Suzanne meet when Pomme helps Suzanne obtain an abortion after a third pregnancy which she cannot afford. They lose contact but meet again ten years later. Pomme has become an unconventional singer, Suzanne a serious community worker – despite the contrast they remain friends and share in the various dramas of each others’ lives, in the process affirming their different female identities. Read More »