A portrait of actress Jane Birkin.
A portrait of actress Jane Birkin.
Agnes Varda was one of the first women filmmakers that I fell in love with. She was one of the first feminists filmmakes I ever watched a film from. Le Bonheur was a taste of so much more great filmmaking to come, both from Varda and from other women filmmakers and other feminist filmmakers. Its bright colors and scathing commentary hit me in the center of my brain and opened it up, not awakening me to feminism, but showing me that I could spot it and understand it. It was an early moment where I hesitatingly acknowledged it. Eventually, I would become much more confident.
One Sings, the Other Doesn't is one of a few films to have left me…
Agnès Varda likes daydreams, not psychology. Her movies jump not from one thing to the next but from one thing to a next, always opening, never closing. One film, a documentary made of fictional parts (Jane B. par Agnès V.), leads to another, a fiction made of documentary (Kung-fu Master!), starring Jane Birkin's daughters, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Lou Doillon, and Varda's son, Mathieu Demy.
Birkin said she wanted “to make a feature film about how I really am: jeans, old sweaters, messy hair, barefoot in my garden. Just once, I'd like to forget wigs and pretty costumes. I’d like to be filmed as if I were transparent, anonymous, like everyone else.” So Agnès Varda made that movie. Where there's creativity without agony, there's people living in front of a camera.
Agnès Varda turns a film on life into a life on film.
"Birkin calls for more authenticity, and Varda responds with more artifice. But what the director most allows is her actress to speak. Even when slow-dancing alongside a 20-sided hall of mirrors, Birkin slowly confesses to her dreams as Varda pushes the camera in, forming a single image. It’s a crucial moment in a film in which every bit of the documentary feels supremely crafted, but it’s all for showing the authentic romance at its center as two artists collaborate in harmony through their pushing and pulling."
Throw me in movie jail! This is my first Agnes Varda movie.
I like her keen eye for framing, though, particularly the slow dolly shots from left to right, use of color (the red, white, and blacks in that Spanish dancer scene!), and incorporation of reflections and animals in weird glass cages. My favorite scene featured Birkin dancing in front of a wall of segmented mirrors while figures in solid colored unitards flitted in and out of her reflection as the camera pivoted to reveal new dancers and even a film crew. The capper? The camera pushes in on Birkin until the other mirrors leave the frame and her multiple reflections unify into one. SO GOOD!
The movie dragged a…
Patience, courage, and the strength to meet your own gaze in the mirror.
Witness the birth of an altogether other film as this unfolds before your eyes.
More daydream elision than documentary portrait. A quite curious blend of fantasy and non-fiction, bridged in equal measure by sound, dialogue, and ideas. Faults, scars, and fraying edges wholly define its considerable beauty. Less girl than boy, but not quite a boy either; an androgyne prince. Not quite the cumulative wallop of LIONS LOVE, but yet more proof of AV's mastery of the audio and visual. Lots to love here, as doors open / close on new worlds.
This is so chaotic I'm in love. Baby Charlotte Gainsbourg makes an appearance as well.
AGNÈS, VÆR MIN MOR.
Jane Birkin get a tribute and a loving testament that better actors never got but then they never had Agnes Varda’s phenomenal playfulness and wonderful touch to help them out either. Birkin do deserve it though but Charlotte Gainsbourg almost take the spotlight from her own mother. Why are not all biographies more like this I wonder.
who needs a healthy supply of dopamine when you have agnes varda and jane birkin talking about cinema
hello! back on letterboxd i guess! i think!
anyways, i saw this film quite some months ago so i don't remember every single bit but what i do remember is crying a lot, i don't know why exactly but between jane birkin's soft, beautiful speaking voice and seeing agnès varda on screen after her passing earlier this year.... i was bound to get weepy in the theater sooner or later!
Varda's filmography is consistently delightful and/or thought-provoking and this is no exception. What could be an underwhelming talking heads biodoc about an artist is turned into a surreal, smirking, scatterbrained journey inside the psyche. It makes you wish more filmmakers ticking boxes in their pedestrian documentaries about rock musicians and the like would consider having even a little bit of fun whilst doing it. This film is deliberately circuitous and unfocused, but the experience is exciting, unpredictable and wickedly funny.
이 영화를 보고 패셔니스타의 가방도 제 가방처럼 뒤죽박죽이라는 걸 알고 위안을 얻었습니다.
'When you show it all, you reveal very little.'
It's only fitting for an actor to perform their own story. Varda's portrait of Jane Birkin reads like a whimsical wish-list of maybes, perhaps, and could-be's.
this is one of the most captivating and unique documentaries i've ever seen. agnès varda does what she does best, showing a stripped back potrait of a woman. but there's something more theatrical and surreal about this one compared to her other documentaries. it's messy but so much fun and clearly has both birkin's and varda's voice all over it.
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