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Film Details

Directed by: Agnes Varda

Produced: 2008

Countries & Regions: France

DVD Details

Certificate: 18

Length: 451 mins

Format: DVD

Region: Region 2

Released: 22 February 2010

Cat No: ART473DVD

Extras:
Languages(s): French
Subtitles: English
Interactive Menu
Scene Access

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The Agnes Varda Collection: Volume 2

Cast: Sandrine Bonnaire , Yolande Moreau , Therese Liotard , Jacques Demy , Philippe Maron , Edouard Joubeaud , Laurent Monnier , Setti Ramdane , Francis Balchère , Jean-Louis Perletti , Christophe Alcazar , Dominique Durand , Joel Fosse , Patrick Schmit , Patrick Sokol , Valerie Mairess , Robert Dadiès

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Four films by Nouvelle Vague director Agnès Varda. ’The Beaches of Agnés’ (2008) is an intimate and inventive autobiographical account of... Read More

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Four films by Nouvelle Vague director Agnès Varda. ’The Beaches of Agnés’ (2008) is an intimate and inventive autobiographical account of Varda’s life. A member of the French New Wave and married to fellow director Jacques Demy, Varda pioneered the ’cine-writing’ style of filmmaking, carefully planning every aspect of the film in order to achieve the greatest emotional response. Taking a detour from the standard forms of storytelling, Varda relates her own story by employing a range of filmic techniques, including the re-staging of dramatic events in her life, and the use of symbolic visual sets that combine to flesh out her thoughts and concepts, while at the same time giving an insight into her creative processes through the years. Philippe Maron stars in ’Jacquot de Nantes’ (1992), in which Varda recreates the childhood of her late husband, Demy. Shot in black and white on location in Demy’s boyhood home, the film is intercut with actual footage of the young Demy and with scenes from his early films. The drama ’L’une Chante, L’Autre Pas’ (1977) is set against the backdrop of the women’s movement in 1970s France, and tracks the friendship of two women from very different backgrounds, Pomme (Valerie Mairesse) and Suzanne (Thérèse Liotard). Finally, the docudrama ’Vagabond’ (1985) tells the story of the final few weeks of female drifter Mona (Sandrine Bonnaire), who feels incapable of participating in ordinary French society. Beginning with her death, the film presents Mona’s final perambulations through the lives of various characters, all of whom offered different potential for escape, options that we know Mona did not take. Through these flashbacks Varda presents her own thesis on the female free spirit in the form of Mona’s life and death.

Agnès Varda’s remarkable career is well served by this second collection.

Her ruggedly poetic condemnation of societal indifference towards wasted lives, Vagabond (1985), was acclaimed for its combination of eyewitness accounts and flashbacks to the days immediately before teenager Sandrine Bonnaire’s demise.

Feminists took against L’une chante, l’autre pas (1976), which chronicles the friendship between a mother and a student chanteuse, but it’s impossible not to be stirred by the emotional and political potency of this fanfare for the common woman.

In Jacquot de Nantes (1991), Philippe Maron excels as the would-be auteur producing his first movies. This exquisite account of the youth of her recently deceased husband, Jacques Demy, finally received an overdue companion piece with The Beaches of Agnès (2008, available separately, see p24), which combines autobiography with mischievous digression and the dauntless octogenarian’s infectious love of life and cinema.

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