In the city of Rochefort, in 1966, Jacques Demy made his famous musical The Young Girls of Rochefort with the delightful Deneuve-Dorléac sisters. In 1992, the city organized a celebration, 25 years after the opening of the film. Agnès Varda has made a colorful documentary by mixing—with a special touch of melancholy—the images of the 1966 summer shooting with what she shot during the summer of 1992: two feasts of cinema! She met the people of Rochefort who vividly remember that time. She spoke with Catherine Deneuve, Jacques Perrin, and with some other friends of the film. As for the former extras, they have grown up, as the lindens did around the Colbert square.
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