Saturday, September 10, 2011

La Pointe Courte

Agnes Varda’s first film “La Pointe Courte” from 1955 combines staged narrative with reportage. As such, she has been named the grandmother of the French New Wave. The film itself follows the existential discussions of a couple as they stroll through a poor fishing community – the husband’s native village - in the south of France. Or maybe we’re following the town and their residents, which include this couple. Both elements have equal weight. The film can be somewhat tedious – especially the staged narrative – but it sticks with you nonetheless. I can’t stop thinking about it.

Varda was a photographer before she turned to film, so many shots look like well-composed stills with movement. It’s precisely this movement - not precious – that makes what you’re watching so alive. And cats. So many cats doing their thing, making life bearable. See the one in the background here?

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