La Pointe-Courte (1955)
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- La Pointe Courte
- 86 min.
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I love the story of how La Pointe-Courte was made. Agnès Varda goes to the titular fishing village to shoot footage for a friend native to the area. Somehow it evokes a story, and she returns with unpaid actors (including Philippe Noiret in his first credited role; he would go on to have an illustrious career) and instinctively creates a textured feature full of contrasts, something that gets her the title of "grandmother of the French New Wave". Though on the surface, the film is about a married couple of the verge of divorce, having a rather Bergmanesque conversation about their relationship, intellectual and really quite stagey, that story stands in complete contrast with the naturalistic village life, shot with the documentarian's eye, and yet still informing the couple's story. Varda's world is a rich, uncontrolled one, where cats and fishermen do their own thing in the background. When we catch up with the villagers, they're dealing with the health authority, gossip, death, celebrations, and traditions, essentially carrying on with the business of LIFE. The couple seems unwilling to do the same. They are in an arrested state, pondering their future, but not living the present. The village is the active part of their conversation. The polluted waters in certain parts of the bay mirrors their own unidentified troubles. The canal jousting plays out when one of them must perhaps win the argument (or take a fall). And since the man comes from this village, it is its charms that must win over the woman if they can. In visual terms alone, it's clear from Varda's shots what drew her back to Sète and La Pointe-Courte. The location is used wonderfully and meaningfully.
Unbelievable that this movie is not on more lists. This film needs more love. My review: http://rickatthemovies.wordpress.com/2013/11/08/la-pointe-courte-agnes-varda-1955/
I would like to buy this film not La Pointe Courte
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In 2 official lists
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This movie ranks #91 in François Truffaut's The Films of My Life
This movie ranks #443 in The Criterion Collection