Agnès Varda

Agnès Varda – Le bonheur AKA Happiness (1965)

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Even with the landscape bathed in warm hues and verdant fields on a summer day, accompanied by the lushness of a textured Mozart adagio, clad with airy wispiness of draped muslin, and emphatically punctuated by a picture-perfect sunflower in full bloom that suggests an aesthetic symbiosis with the vibrant, saccharine images of husband and fellow filmmaker Jacques Demy’s contemporary film The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, the association of Le Bonheur as both a prefiguration and corollary to the somber and oppressive bleakness of Vagabond – a film Agnès Varda would make twenty years later – nevertheless, seems inescapable. Ostensibly a chronicle of the repercussions of a husband’s admitted infidelity on his family (an affair that, as François (Jean-Claude Drouot) rationalizes, was borne not of an emotional void, but of an abundance of happiness and desire to extend that sense of personal joy beyond the sphere of their marital relationship), the film is also an incisive satire on egoism, patriarchal immunity, and bourgeois complacency that implicitly tolerates acts of infidelity and emotional irresponsibility. Read More »

Agnès Varda – Sans toit ni loi AKA Vagabond (1985)

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Sandrine Bonnaire won a César award for her portrayal of Mona, a defiant young drifter who is found frozen in a ditch. Using a largely non-professional cast, famed New Wave filmmaker Agnès Varda recollects Mona’s story through the flashbacks of those who encountered her, producing the splintered portrait of an enigmatic woman. Told in sparsely poetic images set against the frozen landscape of mid-winter Nîmes, this is Varda’s masterpiece. Criterion presents Vagabond (Sans toit ni loi) in a brilliant color transfer supervised by the director. 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 »

Agnès Varda – Les demoiselles ont eu 25 ans AKA The Young Girls Turn 25 (1993)

A recital becomes part of the French culture; 25 years later the performers return to the village where it was first launched.

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Agnès Varda – L’opéra-mouffe AKA Diary of a Pregnant Woman (1958)

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Synopsis
A pregnant filmmaker takes us to rue Mouffetard, “la Mouffe,” in the Latin Quarter of Paris for a mix of documentary footage and imagined scenes. Vignettes or chapters unfold – on the feeling of nature, on pregnancy, on anxiety, on desire, and so forth. Women shop at a vegetable market, their faces marked by care and poverty. We see young lovers, playful and innocent. Derelicts drink and sleep on sidewalks. A weary pregnant woman carries her shopping bags; later, she eats flowers. There are counterpoints of gritty realism and playful, near-surrealistic images. Political and artistic consciousnesses create a montage. Read More »

Agnès Varda – Plaisir d’amour en Iran AKA The Pleasure of Love in Iran (1976)

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Storyline:
A couple find their erotic love mirrored perfectly in the architecture and mosaics of Iran. Read More »

JR, Agnès Varda – Visages, villages aka Faces Places (2017)

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Agnès Varda and JR have things in common: a passion for and the exploration of images in general, and more precisely, for places and for ways of showing, sharing, and exhibiting them. Agnès chose cinema. JR chose to create open air photography galleries. When Agnès and JR met in 2015, they immediately wanted to work together, to shoot a film in France, far from cities, during a trip in JR’s photographic (and magical) truck. Through chance encounters and prepared projects, they reached out to others, listening to them, photographing them, and sometimes putting them on posters. This film also tells the story of Agnès and JR’s friendship, which grew stronger throughout the film shoot, between surprises and teasing, and while laughing about their differences. Read More »