A film about separation, loneliness, alienation. While this sounds rather depressing, the tone here is warm and filled with hope - so typical for Agnès Varda. Beautifully charming portray of Los Angeles 1981, I loved the technicolor images - the composition, framing, and camerawork are absolutely fantastic. Excellent film about difficult matters, with nostalgic, yet still positive and uplifting notes...
A film that absolutely refuses to be put in a box. It is about nothing really but at the same time the most personal and autobiographical movie you will find. It is both with actors, family members, close friends and strangers. It captures Los Angeles as it is and still plays on a fictional level and stylish level the way the film is tought and edited. The play with the words, the almost experimental voice over. Wow.
'An emotion picture' Varda's final 'California period' film is perhaps the most personal of the series despite it being a fiction film. Sabine Mamou plays a veiled version of Varda while Varda's own son Mathieu plays Martin, Sabine's fictional son. The film at 61min goes by very quickly and what it lacks in story it makes up for in emotion and observation.
More than the wordplay, what I think I disliked, or reacted to, was seeing a particular type of 'weakness' - a faded, meek diminishment that for me is very gendered (and that apparently seems to trigger my contempt) - handled in such a straightforward, non-judgmental way. Leave it to Varda to make me confront some internalized sexism and come away more empathetic. Still, not her best. Personal growth notwithstanding.
I wouldn't call Documenteur bleak, exactly, but I couldn't help but find it to be something of a consummate bummer. There is a forlorn quality. There is a drabness. I cannot help but feel that Varda is giving voice to a kind of self-pity. I can think of no character trait less attractive than self-pity. What I do admire is what I perceive to be the honesty on display, as well as the understated purity of vision.
Encore un chef d'oeuvre d'A. Varda, sur l'énigme de la rupture et du divorce, et le sentiment d'abandon d'une femme jetée là, dans la vie, hors de celle qu'elle avait rêvée, d'une femme encore dans la survie, malgré tout, après le désastre. Ce n'est pas permis d'avoir autant de talent !
Not one of Varda's best---the dubbed dialogue and non-actors never quite become a fully realized aesthetic. But Varda's photography is a powerful demonstration of how dynamic low-contrast color photography can be. Her photography, like her screenwriting, eschews dramatics in favor of low-key observation.