Delphine and Solange are two sisters living in Rochefort. Delphine is a dancing teacher and Solange composes and teaches the piano. Maxence is a poet and a painter. He is doing his military service. Simon owns a music shop, he left Paris once month ago to come back where he fell in love 10 years ago. They are looking for love, looking for each other, without being aware that their ideal partner is very close… A film whose scenario is much less important than its feeling of euphory, according to the director Jacques Demy. —IMDb
Born in 1931 in the seaport city of Nantes, Jacques Demy experienced a happy childhood. The son of an auto mechanic, Demy’s love for cinema inspired him to make home movies in 8mm. He would work as an apprentice to animator Paul Grimault and later as assistant to film-maker Georges Rouquier before starting his own career by directing a series of shorts. Le bel indifférent (1957) was an adaptation of a play by Jean Cocteau, notable for marking the start of his lifelong collaboration with art director Bernard Evein. The film’s use of color and sophistication of technique gained favorable notice from Jean-Luc Godard in the pages of Cahiers du Cinéma; the magazine that served as the organ of the French New Wave. Demy would share with the New Wave a love for American genre films, specifically the musicals of Vincente Minnelli and Stanley Donen. Another important influence was the films of Max Ophüls, to whom he would dedicate his first feature Lola.
Made in 1961, Lola’s playful approach… read more
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