This movie tells two stories: the birth of a novel, and the life of a couple culminating in the birth of their child. All the people the husband meets on their Breton Island get absorbed into this book, transformed and distorted. They are the pawns in a fascinating chess game on a life-sized board he plays with the forces of evil and destruction. Of course this fantastic game in which the destinies of the characters are resolved is only imaginary. Or is it? Little by little, he has to fight to save his marriage and the coming child.
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
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