Four by Agnes Varda (La Pointe Courte / Cleo from 5 to 7 / Le bonheur / Vagabond) (The Criterion Collection)
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New restored digital transfers, supervised and approved by director Agnès Varda
Three short films by Varda: L Opéra Mouffe (1958), Du côté de la côte (1958), and Les fiancés du Pont Macdonald (1961)
On La Pointe Courte: new video interview with Varda
On Cléo from 5 to 7: a 2005 documentary on the making of the film; a short film from 2005 in which Varda retraces Cléo s steps through Paris; Varda speaking with Madonna about the film in 1993
On Le bonheur: new interviews with the three actors from the film; a 2006 discussion with four scholars about the film; footage of Varda on-set; 1998 interview with Varda; 2003 interviews on the concept of happiness
On Vagabond: a 2003 documentary on the making of the film; a 2003 interview with composer Joanna Bruzdowicz; a 1986 radio interview with writer Nathalie Sarraute; a 2003 interview with actress Marthe Jarnias
New and improved English subtitle translations
PLUS: New essays by Chris Darke, Adrian Martin, Amy Taubin, and Ginette Vincendeau; plus, a foreword on each film by Varda herself
The two abovementioned films contextualize Cléo from 5 to 7 and Vagabond, both films starring strong females who face life with bravery and finesse. Filmed in "real-time," Cléo from 5 to 7 stars a young pop singer (Corinne Marchand) whose wit and sex appeal carry her through a fearful day, while Vagabond recounts the end of ravishing Mona's (Sandrine Bonnaire), life as a vagrant in search of freedom. Seeing La Pointe Courte, for example, foreshadows Varda's breakthrough casting of non-actors in Vagabond. Filmic experiments and acting experiments abound in each film. On the whole, it becomes clear that each crew member on a Varda film enters a new artistic world forged by this auteur, aimed at exploring daily life to uncover those moments encompassing sadness, hope, and beauty with grace, character, and exquisite technique. --Trinie Dalton
Top Customer Reviews
After Jacques Demy's Lola, his wife's Agnès Varda's Cléo de cinq à sept (1962), is the second Nouvelle Vague Rive gauche (Left Bank of the Seine River) production review, to be followed by Alain Resnais' La guerre est finie (1966), and finally short films by Rive gauche auteurs (Marker, Varda and Resnais).
There is a famous production shot of Cléo: The heroine on a bed in her studio, attended by about twelve men (technicians und beauticians at all levels), behind her Agnès Varda at the camera. So what appears as a first woman's movie is actually still in the man's world of the movies, where women are just the stars. I do not remember how women's lib reacted to it, but it remains an amazing film, and Agnès Varda, a very feminine figure, an exception to the rule. It also gives us a view of pre-1968 Paris, and is a deeply personal, never voyeuristic event.
Cléo, in a way like High Noon, the Western (Fred Zinnemann, 1952), is a real time movie, from five to seven. The lead, intelligently played by beautiful Corinne Marchand, is a singer who, this late afternoon, in understandable anxiety, awaits her specialist doctor's verdict on a detailed cancer test. With her servant and a friend, she runs various errands to kill time, visits a fortune teller, and, finally, is on her walk through Paris towards the hospital to collect the doctor's verdict. She is accompanied by a soldier on leave from the Algerian war, a chance meeting. The doctor's verdict is clear, but he sees considerable chances to heal by treatment.Read more ›
Varda is now making documentaries. I just watched The Gleaners and I and also highly recommend it.
The Criterion set has many interesting interviews that make the collection more valuable.
I note that a volume 2 of Varda films is available, but only in PAL and region 2. I look forward to a release of volume 2 in a region 1 format.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
PERFECT AND CLASSIC BOXSET. I GUESS BUYING THIS WILL TRULY BE AN HONOR TO SOMEONE WHO LOVES FILMS AND COLLECTING THEM.Published on April 7, 2013 by HAN XIAO
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