A woman is variable. Yet can one be more so than Jane Birkin? In this kaleidoscopic film made of various fictions, during various seasons, she plays various parts including her own (with a sense of humor): Jane…d’Arc, Calamity Jane, Jane Tarzan and Jane Gainsbourg. The film is a charming game. You’ll have to find out who that unknown woman is: she is a vamp with Philippe Léotard, a clown with Laura Betti, a young woman of the sixties with Jean-Pierre Léaud, a sentimental singer with Serge Gainsbourg, and a nostalgic lover with Alain Souchon. Jane gives an amazingly multiple performance in this unique film. Famous under the name of Jane B., she allowed Agnès V. to film her as a variable model.
Agnès Varda has been called the “Grandmother of the New Wave,” a well-meaning if curious tribute for a woman who directed her first feature film at the age of 26. Born in Brussels, Varda studied literature and psychology at the Sorbonne, and art history at the École du Louvre. She’d originally wanted to be a museum curator, but a night-school course in photography changed her mind. Rapidly establishing herself as a top-rank still photographer, Varda became the official cameraperson for the Theatre Festival of Avignon and the Theatre National Populaire, and then pursued a career as a photojournalist.
Encouraged by filmmaker Alain Resnais, Varda made her movie directorial bow in 1955 with La Pointe Courte. She based the film on a William Faulkner short story, to which she was attracted because of its parallel plotlines (a recurring device in her later films). That same year, she accompanied another future New Wave director, Chris Marker, to China as visual advisor for his Dimanche… read more
Loved it. Cried hard due to the script. Varda is like my Grand-Mother. Taught me how to enjoy the decaying wall paint. And to see art and beauty everywhere. Birkin was superb. The sensitivity of Varda is to die for. One of the truly greats. Without question. Painting. That camera movement from Birkin's toes to birkin's smile? That's a whole masterpiece. One of the fondest hommages to a living actress i've ever seen
Lots of fun. Varda is a genius and Birkin is versatile. They compliment each other well.
To celebrate the Le cinema d’Agnès Varda, the virtual retrospective currently running on The Auteurs, I thought I'd take a look at Varda’s