Author Topic: 1960s World Cinema: Le Bonheur (1965, France)  (Read 14738 times)

pixote

  • Global Moderator
  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 31476
  • Up with generosity!
    • yet more inanities!
1960s World Cinema: Le Bonheur (1965, France)
« on: March 15, 2009, 02:30:27 AM »
« Last Edit: March 15, 2009, 03:04:16 AM by pixote »
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

worm@work

  • Godfather
  • ******
  • Posts: 7506
Re: 1960s World Cinema: Le Bonheur (1965, France)
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2009, 03:37:06 AM »

Cléo from 5 to 7 (Agnès Varda, 1962)

Okay, so am posting about the bonus Varda film first. I watched this on 35mm this evening at a screening where the director was present. The print was brand new and looked spectacularly good. Really, just gorgeous to look at overall. These screenings are usually only about half full but this one was extremely popular apparently. There were people who had to be turned back because there was no more room. Surprisingly, the full house actually made the whole experience more fun. Everyone was really quiet and well-behaved and everyone really seemed to enjoy the film.

As for the film itself, I had a great time with it. I loved the way the film is temporally and geographically exact, something the director made a point of mentioning prior to the start of the film. She talked about how she wanted to eschew the general tendency that films have to cheat time and generally have time ellipses. What was charming was the way she talked about this. She specifically pointed out that she doesn't think the time-cheat is a big deal... that it's a legitimate cinematic tool / device but that at the time, she was equally interested in both documentary and narrative cinema and intrigued by the idea of making a film that would actually measure time as it's measured in reality. Also that she wanted to show certain parts of Paris and ensure that the route that Cléo takes in the film would be the actual streets that people would use to go from pt. A to pt. B and so on. Just the way she said all this made it seem totally sincere and not gimmicky at all in any way.

Secondly,  I loved the way the film has a sense of humor pretty much throughout and there are several scenes elicit laughter at one level but are also I think hugely reflective of the basic themes the film seems to be concerned with. For instance, there are scenes where we see Cléo being really childish and capricious, as she tries on hats at the store, the way she lounges about in her apartment and so on. While these scenes seem merely amusing at the beginning, I think they really serve to distinguish between the two halves of the film. In the first half, we largely see Cléo as someone who is looked at a lot, as a beautiful object that everyone finds attractive. On the other hand, in the second half, once Cléo takes off her wig and storms out of the apartment, we suddenly see Cléo getting out of her self-absorption and actually looking around herself. It's as though she has opened her eyes and ears to the world around her for the first time.

Another related theme that sorta came across to me was this idea that the whole film is really so much about perception. As I mentioned above, there's the way Cléo is perceived throughout the film and the way that she perceives herself even. Secondly, the way Cléo perceives everything around her is so dependent on her state of mind. For instance, things that would normally go unnoticed seem to upset her greatly given that she has this huge fear of death dominating her thoughts at this time. There are several examples of this in the course of the film - the African masks, the broken mirror, the weird street performers to name a few. All of these sights that she probably passes everyday suddenly become more visible to her and seem to worsen her general sense of foreboding.

I loved the scenes with Michel Legrand and the lyricist guy in Cléo's apartment. Just such a fun sequence overall. I also had a lot of fun with Cléo and her friend, the nude model. And the entire silent film thing was just adorable. Another scene from earlier on that made me smile a lot as well is the scene where Cléo and her assistant (?) are in a cafe and her assistant is narrating a story and we see Cléo being distracted and along with Cléo, we too lose the story thread and seamlessly move on to eavesdropping on a conversation that another couple is having at an adjacent table.

Oh and visually the entire sequence in the hat shop with the mirrors is just exhilarating to watch*! A lot of scenes I think reflect the fact that she started off as a still photographer. She has this really awesome composition style.. like the kittens playing in Cléo's apartment for instance. Also, loved the kid playing the musical instrument at the street corner and the way that music becomes the score as Cléo walks out the gate. So yeah, for a film that is primarily about 2 hours in the life of a woman who is waiting for a potentially fatal medical test result, I found myself smiling a lot during the film. And I think it is this lightness in handling a theme with a fair amount of gravitas is what I think I liked the most about the film.

Anyway, moving on to Agnès Varda herself, she was just utterly delightful. She was sprightly, good-humored, down-to-earth and just so vivacious. Prior to the start of the film, the director of the institute introduced her and invited her to come and say a couple of lines about the film. So she comes up to the podium and compliments him for remembering to kiss her twice this time as opposed to the one kiss he gave her yesterday (her first day here) which she said was very not-French. She then went on to warn him that he shouldn't take this to mean that he can kiss her thrice tomorrow because that would just be taking advantage of the situation :) (It all sounds very cute coming out of the mouth of a very petite, old woman with a thick French accent). She then reprimanded him for calling her a "legendary" director for how could she be a legend when she was right there standing before his eyes :D!

She also took questions after the screening. Someone asked her how the politics of the day or her views on feminism are reflected in the film. She sounded genuinely surprised by the question and responded saying that neither of those were really the themes she had thought of while making the film. She said that the fact that the soldier had to go to Algeria, a war that most people did not believe in, was pretty much the only political thing in the film and she said that even that was really secondary to the idea that everyone is afraid of death, which she said was the bigger point she was making. As for feminism, again she said she hadn't really thought about it explicitly but that the film is probably open to a feminist reading given that it is ony when Clèo starts to look around herself and listen to people as opposed to merely being looked at that she finally finds a way to overcome her fear.

Another question was about the silent film sequence within the film and someone wanted to know why she chose to have that. She said that she had always noticed that people tend to lose interest in the film at some point during the film and that she was particularly afraid that people would get tired of walking around Paris with Clèo. So she wanted to have something that would distract people from Clèo's troubles and revive their interest in the film. She said that at the time she and Jacques were good friends with Godard and Anna Karina and would meet them frequently and that this was the phase when Godard would wear his dark glasses at all times. She said that it annoyed her that he would do that because he had lovely eyes :). So she wanted to create a situation that would require him to take off his dark glasses and she ended up writing this little joke film about a man who wears dark glasses and sees the world as a dark place and then takes off his glasses and sees that everything is bright and lovely. And then she said that Godard and Anna Karina and Eddie Constantine and a bunch of other folks just showed up one day so she could shoot the silent film bit. It really sounded like they had a great time doing it. Apparently the producer of Clèo served as both the ambulance driver and some other character in the short.

She also spoke a little bit about how the street scenes in Clèo really blend documentary and narrative styles. She had asked the street performers to perform at those specific places so Clèo could bump into them but the rest of the footage seems to have been completely natural. Similarly, barring a couple of cafe guests who were actors, a lot of the other patrons discussing art and so on were just normal cafe guests who just happened to be there at the time.

She clarified that the film only follows Clèo from 5 to 6:30 even though the title says 5 to 7. The title, she said, refers to a French custom where couples meet to make love between the hours of 5 and 7 in the evening. She doesn't really see the ending as being about Clèo being saved by meeting a man. She sees it more as Clèo finally listening to other people and making a connection and being able to look beyond her own fears.

She also talked a bit about the French New Wave not really being a school or a particular cohesive movement. She said that she felt that all of these filmmakers had different concerns and everyone was really just doing what they were interested in at the time.

Finally, someone at the back mentioned that 2 sequences in the film in particular reminded him of scenes from Antonioni's Blowup and he wondered if Antonioni had ever acknowledged the influence of Clèo or Agnès on his film. Firstly, she clarified that her film had come out first and seemed both relieved and delighted to hear that indeed it had :). Then she said that she had met Antonioni on multiple occassions but that he just seemed to share a different disposition from her own. She said that while she herself liked to make bad jokes and be silly, he seemed a lot more serious. She then went on to say some nice things about him and his films and concluded by saying that while she admired the man and liked his films, he wasn't the kind of person, you know, she would go out to have beer with :D.


*I don't have screenshots right now since I didn't watch this at home but will try and get the dvd and post some later.

Thor

  • Godfather
  • ******
  • Posts: 6536
    • KTQ
Re: 1960s World Cinema: Le Bonheur (1965, France)
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2009, 11:11:48 AM »
Thanks for that Wormy. I'll push this one higher up my list. Varda sounds great.

I always suspected Antonioni was a jerk. Just look at his movies.
Wanting for Thor what Thor wants for Thor.

skjerva

  • Godfather
  • ******
  • Posts: 9448
  • I'm your audience.
Re: 1960s World Cinema: Le Bonheur (1965, France)
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2009, 12:18:47 PM »
Opening thoughts - More Happiness?: Loving More in Varda’s Le Bonheur

“The Species Revolution”
After a day in the forest, effectively the film’s opening scene, François and Thérèse drop in to visit an aunt and uncle.  We see François drive into the parking area of the houses, the camera pans past the parking lot through trees to the uncle watering his garden, sounds of François’ car’s brakes and the engine slowing - then a cut to a television.  The television depicts a nature scene (Image SR 1), heavy with birdsong, not dissimilar to what Varda just presented us with Thérèse and François in the forest (Image SR 2):

         
(Image SR 1)                                                             (Image SR 2)

The pair on the television speak about “The species revolution./Evolution” – the visual pairing suggests the spectator somehow tie the idea of species revolution to François and Thérèse.  The species revolution is to be understood as Varda’s attack on monogamy.
   Te relationship between Society and Nature as a theme begins being developed here with the film’s first scene out of the forest.  Leaving the forest, Thérèse and François drive through various stages of withdrawal from nature (Images SR 3-5):


(Image SR 3)                                                      (Image SR 4)                                                     (Image SR 5)

Images SR 3 and SR 4 put the spectator in the family truck, sharing some view of, or place in, nature.  Image SR 5 is the third landscape in ten seconds and this time the spectator is removed from the twinning of the family and/in nature – this is society, housing developments and other people.  The first scene described above, just after the truck turns Image SR 5’s corner, continues this blurring, or re-imagining, of nature and society.  We see the uncle watering the garden while we hear François’ car screeching and thumping; we see a home’s interior, with a television showing a couple in nature, while we hear birdsong.  In Image SR 1 we see the open window next to the television – where is the birdsong coming from?  Inside?  Outside? Does it matter?  The window represents a bidirectional portal between society and nature; one setting necessarily changes the other.
   What leaking from this scene and in Image SR 1 (through the window) is established?  We are left to explain the photograph on top of the television – seemingly a wedding photo, in black and white, of the aunt and uncle – as well as the edge of a chair to the right of the television.  Keeping in mind the text from the television, we can imagine the representation of the old couple in the photo an artifact pre-species revolution.  Not only is it dated being black and white, it is static and clearly of the past.  The echo of François and Thérèse from Image SR 2 with the couple on television is ambiguous.  Is the television’s pair a couple?  What does it mean that Thérèse and François’ time in the woods precedes the television’s suggestion of a species revolution? Is this to infer that François and Thérèse are on the revolution’s cusp, not quite of the moment of revolution?  Now, what of that empty chair?  That empty chair, barely visible, waits to be filled.  Not surprisingly, once everyone files into the house, François fills the seat (Image SR 6):


(Image SR 6)

Clearly, I am suggesting François’ filling the empty chair signifies his role in this species revolution/evolution that Varda establishes in this scene.  Even the pairing of revolution with evolution suggests this bidirectional blending of society’s impact on nature and nature’s impact on society.  This dialectic play is Varda’s mechanism for realizing change from a monogamous society to a non-monogamous one. Image SR 6 leaves François unpartnered, clearly in contrast to the photo and the television screen; Image SR 1’s suggestive future in the empty chair is now, comfortably and casually, filled by François.
But I wish the public could, in the midst of its pleasures, see how blatantly it is being spoon-fed, and ask for slightly better dreams. 
                        - Iris Barry from "The Public's Pleasure" (1926)

worm@work

  • Godfather
  • ******
  • Posts: 7506
Re: 1960s World Cinema: Le Bonheur (1965, France)
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2009, 12:48:05 PM »
Before I go on to posting my thoughts, sorry but I'm going to do the bonus films first and then go on to Le Bonheur. It's just easier for me to do this in the sequence in which I watched them. My notes and my brain find it easier that way!

worm@work

  • Godfather
  • ******
  • Posts: 7506
Re: 1960s World Cinema: Le Bonheur (1965, France)
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2009, 03:04:10 PM »

Jacquot de Nantes (Agnès Varda, 1991)

The person who introduced this film at my screening called it a valentine to Jacques Demy and I think it's a really fitting description. I found it rather hard to really evaluate this film in terms of the filmmaking involved because I was just completely captivated by the subject matter and that is what most of my review is going to be about as a consequence.

So the film begins with Varda reciting a poem by Baudelaire and we see an adult Demy standing at a beach. Soon we transition from Demy's present-day recollections to actual re-enactments of Demy's childhood in Nantes. I believe these re-enactments are at the actual venues. So we get to see his father's garage and the little apartment attached to it in which they lived. We see that Jacquot was a happy kid raised in an affectionate home where people sing as they work and go to watch opera and movies together. Most of this is shot in beautiful black and white (I was excited to see Agnès Godard's name in the cinematography credits) with sudden transitions to bright, beautiful color from time to time. Initially, these bursts of color occur whenever Jacquot is watching a puppet show or the opera and to me this worked really well in terms of highlighting just how magical these performances must have seemed to a little boy growing up in a auto garage in a small provincial French town. I also loved the seamless transitions from these re-enactments to scenes from Demy's films. For instance, we see his mom rolling out dough in B&W and the scene transitions to Catherine Deneuve rolling dough in one of Demy's films. And his fascination with the visiting aunt who seems to be leading a rather scandalous life in Brazil and the older neighbor girl who seems far too free-spirited to be stuck in Nantes seem to have made a big impression as well and I could totally see how these little things might be exactly the kind of things one tends to remember years later. Demy always seems to have been a really gentle boy which is evident from the way he interacts with his little brother and other boys around him and so on and even the scenes where the family and the town are affected by war, it seems not to have seriously affected what Demy himself refers to as a "happy childhood". So all of these lovely re-enactments are really great to watch. The scenes of the kids watching the puppet show, the kids playing in the rain, the boys swimming in the lake with the new girl who's come to stay with the neighbors are all great snapshots of childhood and universal in their appeal. But as much fun as all this is, we've definitely seen these things before.

What really made this so special for me was Demy's utter fascination with the arts, especially cinema. Right from a really young age, he seems to have been hell-bent not just on watching shows but on recreating stuff himself. We see him recreating the Punch & Judy shows at home with cardboard and felt pens and put on shows for his family. The part that I just couldn't get over is how, unlike most other childhood obsessions, Demy seems to have never gotten over this passion. He never seems to have gotten distracted from this one thing that he seems to love so much. He seems to have relentlessly worked on getting better at creating things that he can turn into films. I don't know if the reason this had such a profound impact on me is because I have myself never been able to really stick to something. Either fear of failure or plain old-fashioned laziness has always come in the way. So it was fascinating for me to see a little boy resourcefully find different ways to create stuff all the time. Secondly I couldn't help but adore a boy who carries his phonograph EVERYWHERE :).

So it is that we see little Jacquot trade stuff to obtain his very first movie camera and the entire sequence where he's gathering up actors to shoot the film script that's included in the camera manual is so much fun to watch and honestly, it blows Son of Rambow out of the water. And the way Jacquot decides not to rely on his volunteer actors who he finds fussy and difficult to work with and decides to make animation films instead.

I was moved by the parts where we see Jacques stuck in trade school and could totally relate to the fear of never being able to do what one really wants to do. What I couldn't relate to but could admire was Jacques's perseverance throughout this time. He seems to have just locked himself up in the attic and made films all day long refusing to admit defeat and resign to becoming a tradesman. I love the scenes where he's painstakingly painting individual cells to show movement and using a rollerskate to set up dolly shots for his film. Oh and the scenes at the trade school are really well-shot and I think highlight Varda's ability to document people at work in their natural environment. And I loved that these scenes are juxtaposed with the sound of a teacher explaining to the students in the adjacent classroom that “To summarise. Manual workers and intellectual workers are totally different from each other. Copy that down!” :D.

It's also really fun to see Jacquot, the movie-nerd! I am really jealous of French kids btw. It seems that French families always spend their weekends going to the cinema! From his early declaration of Les Enfants du paradis as a masterpiece to his insistence that his friend should watch La Belle et la Bête and the way the older kids ask him what to watch because Jacquot always seems to know about all the films that are running. Then there's the amazing scene where he explains the "day for night" effect to his friend so matter-of-factly. I just loved all this.

Some of the most touching scenes in the film are where the film jumps out of the childhood sequences and the camera just lingers on Demy's aged body. There is such tenderness and affection in these scenes that I just couldn't help but tear up a little.

I am still unsure about whether to think of this film as a documentary or as a piece of fiction. On the one hand, it feels documentary-like given that it is chronicling the recollections of a real childhood. On the other hand, Varda is definitely letting this remain a romanticized portrayal free of any judgment or a huge emphasis on historical accuracy and so on. So it really feels somewhat fictional in that respect.

I had a great time with it and definitely recommend it.

Thor

  • Godfather
  • ******
  • Posts: 6536
    • KTQ
Re: 1960s World Cinema: Le Bonheur (1965, France)
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2009, 03:25:47 PM »
Sounds like the most romantic film ever made. Lovely.
Wanting for Thor what Thor wants for Thor.

roujin

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 15345
  • it's all research
    • ssmvc
Re: 1960s World Cinema: Le Bonheur (1965, France)
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2009, 03:34:30 PM »
Yeah, I desperately want to see it.

worm@work

  • Godfather
  • ******
  • Posts: 7506
Re: 1960s World Cinema: Le Bonheur (1965, France)
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2009, 02:04:59 AM »

The Gleaners and I (Agnès Varda, 2000)

So this is the only proper documentary I've watched by Varda and it turned out to be really very different from most of the documentaries I've watched so far and from what I think I was expecting to see. Despite the sense of joy and wonder that permeates through every frame of Jacquot des Nantes, for some reason I think I was expecting this to be a really grim and serious documentary that would reveal certain important truths to us. What I wasn't expecting was an entertaining, heartfelt, personal essay that is charming and definitely wasn't expecting to hear Agnès Varda rapping in the film! Yeah, really!

Varda begins the film with Millet's painting, The Gleaners, establishing gleaning as a traditional activity that goes back several millennia. Then we cut to the streets of contemporary Paris and hear a French rap song in the background about people who scavenge stuff off the streets. From there we just join Varda on this crazy journey in search of people all around France who are engaged in the process of gleaning or picking up and using what other people have discarded as useless. We start in the French countryside following gleaners who glean in potato fields and fruit orchards. She talks to them and we learn pretty quickly that not all of these people glean out of necessity but that some of these people do it for fun and so on. During the course of the film, we go from these mostly traditional gleaners who collect agricultural produce to the landowners and get their perspective on what they think of this activity. We even get to see a lawyer in full formal garb come to the fields and explain the laws related to gleaning and this is all done in a really amusing lighthearted way wherein we are fully made aware of the archaic nature of the laws governing gleaning but Varda seems mostly just excited about having this lawyer in his uniform walk around in a cabbage patch! This is the first time she is shooting with a digital camera and several times in the film she just seems to be so happy not to be lugging heavy equipment around but to instead be able to shoot intimately without a real crew. It is this sense of wonder and joy at being able to film all these things that seem to fascinate her and catch her fancy that makes this documentary such fun to watch. For instance, while filming these people gleaning in these farms, she finds a landowner who permits gleaning and whose great-grandfather (or maybe going back even farther than that) was the inventor of some form of filming technology. She is able to take a quick detour to tell us about this cool coincidence and get right back on track to the topic at hand. She is definitely interested in the customs, the traditions and the laws that surround the activity that fascinates her so but all of that is secondary to the actual people she meets. She seems to have such a real affection for these people who value and treasure what other people have declared to be useless. There's this great scene where she meets this trucker who lost his job after failing a breathalyzer test followed by his wife leaving him with the kids. He says with a note of pride in his voice that "We are not afraid to get our hands dirty. We can always wash our hands." She has this ability to never be sentimental and yet be so intimate and befriend these people she is filming.

Similarly, right from the start, we can tell that Varda really identifies as a gleaner herself. The few scenes in her house clearly show that she has a tendency to collect miscellaneous objects and store them. Secondly she seems to consider the process of filming itself as gleaning in a way. And when she is with the people gleaning for potatoes, she is totally taken with the heart shaped potatoes that she sees there and ends up taking a bunch home herself. Interesting anecdote on these potatoes at the end of this write-up.

We move from these traditional gleaners to people who create art using found objects to people who pick up stuff from trash cans and dumpsters and eventually to people who pick up stuff from the open markets in Paris after the markets close. We meet this man who has a job and lives almost entirely off things found in the trash as a matter of principle. We see these youth who seem to vandalize supermarket trash bins as an act of rebellion. We meet this man who collects items from trash and go on to learn that he lives with an Asian man and the two of them fix appliances found in the trash and either sell them or donate them to their neighbors and frequently feed the entire neighborhood with food they've found. In this way, we get to see these temporary families that these people form.

One of the most amazing characters we meet is this man who we see eating produce from the Paris open-air markets. Varda eventually approaches him and we learn that he is a vegetarian and holds a masters in biology and lives almost entirely off things found in the market. Varda continues to talk to him and film him and we go on to learn that he lives in a shelter where he spends his evenings teaching French to immigrants from Africa for no charge.

Throughout the film, although it is clear that Varda has an affection for these people who live on the fringe of society and live on other people's discards, she lets everyone in the film speak for themselves. This includes people on both sides of this process, i.e. the landowners and the lawmakers as well as the gleaners themselves. She shows a real respect for every single person she encounters and seems genuinely interested in listening to them. One common thread I was able to detect between this film and Cleo is her fascination with this idea of people having different perspectives on the same thing. For instance, a supermarket manager explains how certain food must be removed from the store at a certain point, whether it's still edible or not. To him, it's a matter of hygiene and health. From the gleaner's point of view, the manager is crazy and is wasting good food!

The film's funniest moment turns on exactly this kind of difference in perspective. An artist, who bikes through the region looking for found objects to use in his creations, shows Varda how he finds his materials. He holds up this map to the camera and says, "Some of the towns are thoughtful enough to publish a map like this, showing the areas and times where objects will be available on the streets". "But isn't that actually a map of dates and venues for people to put out their trash?" Varda cheekily points out :). "Oh, yeah, right," says the man, as though he's never considered the possibility that the map was made for someone else's convenience!

Finally, she ends her journey at the Musée d'Orsay where she has persuaded the curator to take out the famous painting by Breton, "Le Retour des Glaneuses" and lets us admire it along with her in broad daylight.

So yes, we get to see this phenomenon from its traditional origins to its modern-day version and meet the people engaged in this activity and hear their views and so on. That in itself is pretty amazing given all of the growing consciousness for the environment and waste since the time the documentary first came out. But Varda doesn't just stop there. Ever so often in the documentary, she turns the camera on herself and confronts her own ageing and mortality. She seems truly happy to be able to hold the camera in one hand and film her other hand with it. But she is also despondent as she realizes that she doesn't recognize her own hand, the hand that's telling her that she's growing old. In this way, she brings up the idea that we ourselves gradually losing value as we age without ever stating any of this explicitly or becoming too pedantic about it.

Then there are the little whimsical moments like when the time she picks up chairs from the dumpster and brings them home or when she picks up the clock without hands that someone has discarded and talks about how she loves the idea of a clock without hands that won't record the passage of time. All these little side commentaries are a real pleasure to listen to and never detract from the main subject but merely make the documentary unique.

Finally, at the end, she narrated a little anecdote about the documentary. She said that she had gotten interested in the subject when she repeatedly noticed people picking up stuff from the Paris markets after the markets had closed down for the day. She knew about gleaners from the paintings and then watched something on TV about how these new harvesting machines were so efficient that they almost completely eliminated waste. This in turn made her wonder about whether there were still people gleaning after the harvest and if so, whether they had been put out of business by these machines.

She also talked about how she hadn't found any financial backing for this documentary since Canal Plus didn't think it was a subject that people would be interested in. She couldn't wait for financial backing because the harvest season was almost coming to an end. So she went ahead and shot the footage with the gleaners in the potato fields and made an appointment to meet with the director of Canal Plus after her return. It was during this interval (between making the appt. and the actual meeting) that she found those heart-shaped potatoes that she took a fancy to. So on the day of her appt., she went there with a heart-shaped potato and told the director that she and her heart-shaped potato wanted to make a film. Apparently, he was amused by her request and decided to listen to her pitch and financed her and so on. Amusingly, she claimed that once she found the heart-shaped potatoes, she knew it was a sign that the film ought to be made :).

She also talked with great passion about how marginalized the people in this documentary are. She made a sequel 2 years later and went back in search of these people and found some of them better off but a lot of them worse off than they had been when she originally met them. She was curious to know if this practice of gleaning existed in the US and about the laws governing the same and so on.

She also said that she thinks that in some ways this one of the most rewarding of her films because of the way it was embraced by so many people when it came out, especially young people. She says she still receives heart-shaped potatoes in the mail and has a trunk full of stuff that people have gleaned and sent to her.

I haven't met very many filmmakers or even heard them speak but I really adored and admired Varda's obvious love for people. She is an old woman and she often wouldn't be able to remember the names of people while answering questions. But she remembered the names of all these people that appear in the film and the circumstances in which they met and the cafe where they had coffee and so on and one could tell that she really cherishes the time she spent with them.

FifthCityMuse

  • Elite Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3375
  • Good work, sycophants!
Re: 1960s World Cinema: Le Bonheur (1965, France)
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2009, 06:49:48 AM »
That's so wonderful, w@w. We watched the beginning of this in class last year, and your wonderful review has made me really keen to see it. I'll have to see if I can pick it up in the next couple of weeks.