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4 by Agnes Varda [4 Discs] [Criterion Collection] [DVD]

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$84.99
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Overview

Special Features

  • New, restored digital transfers
  • Three short flms by Varda: L'opéra Mouffe (1958), Du Côté de la Côte (1958), and Les Fiancés du Pont Macdonald (1961)
  • On La Pointe Courte; new video interview with Varda; excerpts from a 1964 episode of television series Cinéastes de Notre Temps, in which Varda discusses her early careeer
  • On Cléo from 5 to 7: documentary from 2005 on the making of the film; 2005 short film retracing Cléo's steps through Paris; Varda speaking with Madonna about the film in 1993
  • On Le Bonheur: 2006 featurettes with the three actors from the film; discussion about the film from 2006 between four intellectuals; footage of Varda on set; 1998 interview with Varda
  • On Vagabond: 2003 documentary on the making of the film; conversation from 2003 between Varda and composer Joanna Bruzdowicz; 1986 radio interview with Varda and writer Nathalie Sarraunte, who inspired the film
  • Theatrical trailers
  • Plus: new essays by Chris Darke, Adrian Martin, Amy Taubín, and Ginette Vincendeau, as well as a foreward by Varda on each film

Synopsis

La Pointe Courte
At the time of its release, much was made of the fact that La Point Courte was directed by a mere "25-year-old girl". That girl was professional photographer Agnes Varda, later hosannahed by aficionados as "The Grandmother of the New Wave." Covering a wide ranging of sociopolitical issues, Varda's first cinematic effort, reportedly lensed on a budget of $20,000, is virtually two films in one, developed in parallel fashion. The twin storylines concern the simultaneous efforts of a husband and wife to mend their broken marriage, but Varda's interests clearly lie in what occurs around the two plotlines rather than the linear progression of the stories themselves. Edited by Alain Resnais, La Point Courte was initially dismissed by some shortsided American critics as being "too arty;" it has since been assessed by one critic as "the first film of the French nouvelle vague. Its interplay between conscience, emotions and the real world make it a direct descendant of Hiroshima, Mon Amour." ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Le Bonheur
Le Bonheur was French director Agnes Varda's first color film. To critics who carped that her choice of hues was not "realistic", she responded that she was choosing the hues that were best suited psychologically to her story. The film's protagonist is a young, married carpenter (Jean-Claude Drouot). He takes a mistress (Marie-France Boyer), assuming that he can be equally in love with both his wife and the new woman in his life. When the wife drowns, the mistress quietly takes her place. This plot twist is remains a subject of debate amongst Varda's admirers. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cleo from 5 to 7
Cleo From 5 to 7 (Cleo de cinq a sept), per its title, concentrates on two hours in the life of a woman. Those hours are desperate ones, in that Cleo, a pop singer, awaits the results of her tests for cancer. Director Agnes Varda stages the film in "real" rather than subjective time, its various episodes divided into chapters, using significant Tarot cards. During the allotted time, Cleo visits her friends, tries to sing her worries away, spends money, and cries. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Vagabond
Vagabond, directed by Agnes Varda is the dark disturbing story of a female drifter named Mona (Sandrine Bonnaire). The film opens as Mona's frozen body is found in a drainage ditch and proceeds to tell her story in a series of flashbacks and semi-documentary style "interviews" with the people who have known Mona during the last few weeks of her life. Mona is a distant, independent and not-very-likeable woman who goes from place to place, living where she can and with anyone who will take her in. Mona's true nature remains a puzzle, both to those who thought they knew her, and to the audience. As the movie progresses it becomes clear that no one knew the true Mona and she, because of her aloofness and essential coldness, provided a canvas for those she met to write upon. Who Mona really was, and what she thought remains ambiguous. Sandrine Bonnaire is excellent as Mona, making an unappealing and cold character interesting and intriguing. Director Agnes Varda began her career as a still photographer. This beginning is evident in her elegant framing of the film. She has an instinctive awareness of and a photographer's eye for visual detail which makes the film cold, bleak, and aridly beautiful. Internationally acclaimed, Vagabond is Varda's most successful film. ~ Linda Rasmussen, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Silvia Monfort
    Silvia Monfort
  • Philippe Noiret
    Philippe Noiret
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