By T. Jefferson Kline
Over approximately sixty years, Agnès Varda (b. 1928) has given interviews which are revealing not just of her paintings, yet of her remarkably ambiguous prestige. She has been known as the “Mother of the hot Wave” yet suffered for a few years for by no means having been thoroughly permitted by way of the cinematic institution in France. Varda’s first movie, La Pointe Courte (1954), displayed some of the features of the 2 later motion pictures that introduced the hot Wave, Truffaut’s 400 Blows and Godard’s Breathless. In a low cost movie, utilizing (as but) unknown actors and dealing totally outdoors the present studio process, Varda thoroughly deserted the “tradition of caliber” that Truffaut used to be at that very time condemning within the pages of Cahiers du cinema. Her paintings, despite the fact that, used to be now not “discovered” till after Truffaut and Godard had damaged onto the scene in 1959. Varda’s subsequent movie, Cleo from five to 7, attracted significantly extra realization and used to be chosen as France’s professional access for the pageant in Cannes. eventually, in spite of the fact that, this movie and her paintings for the following fifty years persevered to be overshadowed by means of her extra well-known male buddies, lots of whom she mentored and advised.
Her motion pictures have ultimately earned reputation as deeply probing and basic to the becoming expertise in France of women’s concerns and the position of ladies within the cinema. “I’m now not philosophical,” she says, “not metaphysical. emotions are the floor on which individuals may be resulted in take into consideration issues. i attempt to convey every little thing that occurs in the sort of manner and ask questions so that it will go away the audience loose to make their very own judgments.” The panoply of interviews the following emphasize her center trust that “we by no means cease studying” and demonstrate the wealth of how to respond to her questions.
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Extra resources for Agnès Varda: Interviews
PU: Why is the beginning of the film in color? AV: My idea was that the life in the Tarot cards is an imaginary life, it’s a representation of life, and real life in the film is in black and white. I wanted to separate this representation of life from life itself. Of course it’s entirely arbitrary because we see real life in colors. But the perspective of the film, given that it’s shot in black and white and that during the credits you hear her story, so the fortune teller predicts her life to her as if she were watching the projection of her own film.
It’s exactly like what Resnais is asking of his audience in Marienbad. The need to integrate a private problem with a larger social issue is also a theme in L’Enclos. In this particular case, the experiences of the two protagonists are but a detail in the larger picture. What I liked about Gatti’s film is that the two characters experience their problem in terms of the camp while at the same time, the camp is thinking about them. But his way of treating the couple and the group is only possible because it is a face-off between two men who are confronted by the same problems faced by all the prisoners in the camp.
He’s very focused on a certain form of culture, in fact he’s obsessed by it. You have to let yourself go with this film that is structured primarily on associations of visual ideas, on visual puns. You think, for example of the Lyons train station and suddenly you see a real lion in the Vincennes zoo. It will be a continuous play on images the way you have plays on words. The play on images would include cutting from the real lion to a stone lion, moving from the Vincennes zoo to the Piazza San Marco in Venice.
Agnès Varda: Interviews by T. Jefferson Kline