The World of Jacques Demy (L’univers de Jacques Demy) (1995)

AGNES VARDA Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.  France/Belgium/Spain, 1995.  Canal+ Espana, Canal+, Centre National De La Cinematographie, Ciné Tamaris, DocStar, Institut National de L’Audiovisuel, La Sept-Arte, Ministere des Affaires Etrangeres et du Developpement International, Sofica Valor 2.  Screenplay by Agnes Varda.  Cinematography by Stephane Krausz, Peter Pilafian Georges Strouve.  Music by Michel Colombier, Michel Legrand. Film Editing by Marie-Josee Audiard.  Agnes…

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Who Are You, Polly Maggoo? (Qui etes-vous, Polly Maggoo?)

BBB (out of 5) William Klein’s satire of show business has a suspicious attitude towards mid-sixties fashion trends and celebrity culture that the future will bear out in almost exact detail.  A French television crew doing a reality-based program on Brooklyn-born model Polly Maggoo (Dorothy McGowan) asks about her life, her inspiration and her true self…

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The Young Girls Turns 25 (Les Demoiselles Ont Eu 25 ans) (1993)

AGNES VARDA Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBB.5.  France, 1993.  Ciné Tamaris.  Screenplay by Agnes Varda.  Cinematography by Alexandre Auffort, Stephane Krausz, Patrick Mounoud, Georges Strouve, Agnes Varda.  Music by Michel Legrand, Jacques Loussier.  Cannes Film Festival 1993. It’s astounding how much love and affection Agnes Varda packs into 64 very short minutes. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary…

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Sundays and Cybele (Les dimanches de Ville d’Avray)

BBBB (out of 5) A little girl is abandoned at a convent by her thoughtless father, the same night making friends with a shell-shocked Vietnam war veteran (Hardy Krüger) who has partial amnesia after having killed a girl in battle.  They become friends, spending their Sundays together while his girlfriend is on call at the…

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The Lovers (Les Amants)

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Jeanne Moreau lives in the aristocratic country home of her boring husband (Alain Cuny) and, like all good women of the upper clutch, keeps a lover in town. When even he, the Brazilian polo player extraordinaire (José Luis de Vilallonga), isn’t enough to keep her from the discreet ennui of the bourgeoisie,…

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Last Year At Marienbad (L’Annee Derniere A Marienbad)

BBBB (out of 5) A man runs into a beautiful woman (Delphine Seyrig) at a posh European villa and insists they’ve met before. This is just about the only conversation they have throughout the film, though it’s spread out over many different locales and time frames, as we work towards the point where it starts…

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The 400 Blows (Les Quatres Cents Coups)

BBBBB (out of 5) Classic coming-of-age masterpiece about a young boy (Jean-Pierre Léaud) growing up in Paris with a negligent mother and an assortment of charismatic friends.  He enjoys moments of childish fun but also gets himself into serious trouble at equal turns, suffering his disadvantages as long as he can before finally running away from…

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A Woman Is A Woman (Une Femme Est Une Femme)

BBB.5 (out of 5) Another great example of the period in Godard’s career when, even at their most ridiculous, his films are so passionate and energetic that they win you over. Anna Karina is gorgeous as an exotic dancer who is shacked up with her boyfriend (Jean-Claude Brialy) and longs to have a baby with…

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Viva Maria!

BBBB (out of 5) Two of France’s most beloved icons rule the screen with their captivating performances in this comedy by Louis Malle. Brigitte Bardot is a riot as a young woman who is at the same time a sex-kitten nymphomaniac and a bomb expert (having been raised by a revolutionary father). Jeanne Moreau plays a…

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The Fire Within (Le Feu Follet)

BBBB (out of 5) Louis Malle goes deep into the soul with this beautiful look at the life of a hopeless man. Maurice Ronet is terrific as a blocked writer, recently returned to Paris from New York, who resolves to kill himself before spending his final day wallowing in misery. He sleeps with his girlfriend, consults…

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Zazie Dans Le Metro

BBBB (out of 5) Zazie is excited to come to the big city of Paris for a weekend with her uncle because she wants to ride the subway; huge disappointment, then, when it turns out to be closed due to a strike. Naturally, the next best thing is to cause all manner of mayhem throughout…

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Three Seats For The 26th (Trois Places Pour Le 26)

BBB.5 (out of 5) Jacques Demy’s last film is a pleasant tribute to his favourite genre of musicals.  Yves Montand plays a fictionalized version of himself returning to Marseilles to star in a stage musical about his life and career. A young woman who works in a perfumery (Mathilda May), recently shamed by the incarceration…

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