Download The Cinema of Agnès Varda: Resistance and Eclecticism by Delphine PDF

By Delphine

Agnès Varda, a pioneer of the French New Wave, has been making radical movies for over part a century. a lot of those are thought of by means of students, filmmakers, and audiences alike, as audacious, seminal, and unforgettable. This quantity considers her creation as a complete, revisiting ignored motion pictures like Mur, Murs/Documenteur (1980--81), and connecting her cinema to fresh deploy paintings. This examine demonstrates how Varda has resisted norms of illustration and diktats of construction. It additionally indicates how she has elaborated a private repertoire of pictures, characters, and settings, which all supply perception on their cultural and political contexts. The ebook hence deals new readings of this director's multifaceted rêveries, arguing that her paintings can be noticeable as an aesthetically influential and ethically-driven construction the place cinema is either a political and collaborative perform, and a synesthetic paintings form.

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Parallels have been made between this and later films, like Les Glaneurs et la glaneuse, on the basis of their shared concern for ‘the disenfranchised and the have-nots’ (Rosello 2001: 29). The autobiographical nature of L’Opéra Mouffe has been identified by Valerie Orpen, who describes the film as ‘a semi-autobiographical documentary, recording the altered and subjective viewpoint of a pregnant woman in the then-seedy neighbourhood of the rue Mouffetard’ (2007: 5). Despite these references, feminist critics and film scholars alike have largely avoided L’Opéra Mouffe, maybe because they found the film pretentious (see Tyler 1959) or essentialist (see Orpen 2007: 88).

So she may look free, happy and as innocent as a dove, but this woman’s growing ‘bud under her skin’ (‘le bourgeon dans la peau’ of the introductory song) is what awaits her eventually. The other two occurrences where we see the mother-to-be are different because she is heavily pregnant. In the section ‘Des angoisses’, a tracking shot follows her as she struggles to walk and carry heavy groceries. This scene is preceded by images of a hammer violently smashing light bulbs, followed by a hatchling struggling to get out of its shell.

In one of the bedroom scenes Varda, in a manifest homage to Man Ray’s famous Violon d’Ingres (1924), frames Dorothée’s back against the dark volutes of her iron bed. Visually she is all performance and plasticity, but ideologically she is a single woman whose ‘modernity’ I would argue is not yet acquired. In a pronatalist society where women cannot freely control their own fertility, the choices available to this character remain limited. Varda’s representation of Dorothée Blank as an icon of modernity is in that respect only tentative.

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