Classic Art Films Shop Header Image

Four by Agnes Varda (La Pointe Courte / Cleo from 5 to 7 / Le bonheur / Vagabond) (The Criterion Collection)

Price: $62.54
Product prices and availability are accurate as of 2020-02-29 10:04:07 UTC and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on http://www.amazon.com/ at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Availability: Not Available - stock arriving soon
CERTAIN CONTENT THAT APPEARS ON THIS SITE COMES FROM AMAZON SERVICES LLC. THIS CONTENT IS PROVIDED 'AS IS' AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE OR REMOVAL AT ANY TIME.

Product Description

Agnès Varda used the skills she honed early in her career as a photographer to create some of the most nuanced, thought-provoking films of the past fifty years. She is widely believed to have presaged the French new wave with her first film, La Pointe Courte, long before creating one of the movement s benchmarks, Cléo from 5 to 7. Later, with Le bonheur and Vagabond, Varda further shook up art-house audiences, challenging bourgeois codes with her inscrutable characters and effortlessly beautiful compositions and editing. Now working largely as a documentarian, Varda remains one of the essential cinematic poets of our time and a true visionary.

Manufacturer Description

Agnès Varda used the skills she honed early in her career as a photographer to create some of the most nuanced, thought-provoking films of the past fifty years. She is widely believed to have presaged the French new wave with her first film, La Pointe Courte, long before creating one of the movement s benchmarks, Cléo from 5 to 7. Later, with Le bonheur and Vagabond, Varda further shook up art-house audiences, challenging bourgeois codes with her inscrutable characters and effortlessly beautiful compositions and editing. Now working largely as a documentarian, Varda remains one of the essential cinematic poets of our time and a true visionary. DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FOUR-DISC SET FEATURES:

New restored digital transfers, supervised and approved by director Agnès Varda
Three short films 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
On Cléo from 5 to 7: a 2005 documentary on the making of the film; a short film from 2005 in which Varda retraces Cléo s steps through Paris; Varda speaking with Madonna about the film in 1993
On Le bonheur: new interviews with the three actors from the film; a 2006 discussion with four scholars about the film; footage of Varda on-set; 1998 interview with Varda; 2003 interviews on the concept of happiness
On Vagabond: a 2003 documentary on the making of the film; a 2003 interview with composer Joanna Bruzdowicz; a 1986 radio interview with writer Nathalie Sarraute; a 2003 interview with actress Marthe Jarnias
Theatrical trailers
New and improved English subtitle translations
PLUS: New essays by Chris Darke, Adrian Martin, Amy Taubin, and Ginette Vincendeau; plus, a foreword on each film by Varda herself

4 by Agnes Varda is one of Criterion Collection's finest releases, so packed is it with supplementary material. Each of the four films included in the set have illuminating critical essay accompaniments and at least three additional bits on their prospective DVDs ranging from the "remembrances" of cast and crew to amazing interviews with Varda from various decades. Of course, the films are in themselves quite extraordinary, but this package collects together so much enlightening footage and reading that to comb through it is like taking a Varda history class. It is difficult to choose favorites amongst the four films included: La Pointe Courte (1956), Cléo from 5 to 7 (1962), Le Bonheur (1965), and Vagabond (1985). Each illustrates rigorous experimental challenges, and each film succeeds according to its own set of criteria. Perhaps the most exciting two films in the set, simply because fewer viewers may have seen them, are La Pointe Courte and Le Bonheur. La Pointe Courte, Varda's first film and the film attributed to launching the French New Wave, stars Silvia Monfort and Philippe Noiret who bring a stark formalism to the story of their conflicted love in a scenic seaside village. Shot in high contrast black and white, La Pointe Courte is filled with odd visual and sonic edits that lend this film an otherworldly, Carl Dreyer-esque quality though it points to Varda's future directing tact, namely making films that scrutinize tragic personal relationships with deep compassion and zeal. Le Bonheur, filmed in a vivid primary color palette, similarly features a married couple, François (Jean-Claude Drouot) and Therese (Claire Drouot), who experience both bliss and utter sadness within the film's timeframe. In this case, the sense of isolation is replaced by an overload of happiness, namely when François cheats on his wife with a young postal worker (Marie-France Boyer) and finds himself so happy that the viewer suspects it cannot last.

The two abovementioned films contextualize Cléo from 5 to 7 and Vagabond, both films starring strong females who face life with bravery and finesse. Filmed in "real-time," Cléo from 5 to 7 stars a young pop singer (Corinne Marchand) whose wit and sex appeal carry her through a fearful day, while Vagabond recounts the end of ravishing Mona's (Sandrine Bonnaire), life as a vagrant in search of freedom. Seeing La Pointe Courte, for example, foreshadows Varda's breakthrough casting of non-actors in Vagabond. Filmic experiments and acting experiments abound in each film. On the whole, it becomes clear that each crew member on a Varda film enters a new artistic world forged by this auteur, aimed at exploring daily life to uncover those moments encompassing sadness, hope, and beauty with grace, character, and exquisite technique. --Trinie Dalton

Product Information

Director Agnes Varda is looked as by many critics as the 'Godmother' of the French New Wave and yet besides her being a woman, it seems a little unfair to simply describe her like that. When watching several of her films again, her stories seem to be more modern, have much more zest and seem to remain fresh and innovative than many of her French New Wave counterparts. Unlike most of the new wave directors, Varda was trained not just as a filmmaker or a film critic, but as a photographer as well; which is quite obvious through Varda's extraordinary documentary-like cinematography.

Key Product Details

  • Director: Agnes Varda
  • Number Of Discs: 4
  • Run Time: 345 (Minutes)
  • UPC: 715515025928