This movie tells two stories: the birth of a novel and the life of a couple culminating in the birth of their child. The people the husband meets on their Breton Island get absorbed into this book, transformed and distorted.
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“It is difficult to form a judgment of a film in which the true and the false, the true-false and the false-true, are intermingled according to barely perceived rules.”--Truffaut writing on another Agnes Varda film, La Pointe Courte (1955), which I believe applies to Les Creatures as well, although
the difficulty mentioned is our method of receiving potent rewards.
Are they in purgatory after dying in the car crash? And then reincarnated as a crabby baby? Is the wife alive, or his imaginary friend? Is it all a novel? Regardless, Varda letting us watch over her shoulder as she sketches with a pencil, erases, corrects, writes alternate paragraphs in the margins. Brimming with film magic, knitted tighter even as it fragments. I found it refreshing to hear modern music as a score!
Unlike anything I would have expected from Varda's catalog. Gripping, even when it didn't totally feel like it worked. The camera movement to the theatricalized acting to the total stream of consciousness storytelling keep this piece one of a kind. Amazing to think this film was hated by critics. 4.5
If Varda is unmatched in her prolific originality, donning genres, like so many hats, with irrepressible wit and whimsy, The Creatures is perhaps evidence of the 'cost' side of that ledger. A film so clearly worth more (and more serious) attention than it was given that no amount of style or cleverness can avert the sense of impending dissatisfaction that sets in at least halfway through... Meh.
As a loving couple acclimate to their new home, the husband encounters some troubled townspeople. The town is thrust into turmoil with the only clues being magical medallions. Situations intensify once a local evil has come out of hiding. A game of wits then begins and the stakes are high. The husband must play to maintain peace in the town, fix things gone wrong, and for his wife's very life.