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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One Sings, The Other Doesn’t (L’une chante, l’autre pas) (1977)

AGNES VARDA Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.  Venezuela/France/Belgium, 1977.  Ciné Tamaris, INLC,  Institut National de L’Audiovisuel, Paradise, Population,  Societe Francaise de Production.  Screenplay by Agnès Varda.  Cinematography by Charles Van Damme.  Music by François Wertheimer.  Production Design by Franckie Diago.  Costume Design by Franckie Diago.  Film Editing by Joele Van Effenterre.  Toronto International Film Festival 1977.    Teenager Pauline rejects her bourgeois family to help twenty-two year…

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Daguerréotypes (1976)

AGNES VARDA Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  West Germany/France, 1976.  Ciné Tamaris, Institut National de L’Audiovisuel, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen.  Screenplay by Agnes Varda.  Cinematography by Nurith Aviv, William Lubtchansky.  Film Editing by Andree Choty, Gordon Swire.   Filmmaker Agnes Varda was inspired by a storefront on the Rue Daguerre, where her studio is still located, whose window hadn’t changed its products…

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The Model Couple (Le Couple Temoin)

BBB (out of 5) The “Ministry of Future” selects a married couple to be examined up close for data collection purposes: their eating habits, the length of time they spend making love, and their various emotional states while going through daily rituals. André Dussollier and Anémone are overseen by a pushy director who isn’t above coming into…

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Noroît

BBB.5 (out of 5) Jacques Rivette’s companion piece to Duelle is as visual splendid though not as invigorating.  Loosely inspired by (and including pieces of) The Revenger’s Tragedy by Cyril Tourneur, it stars Geraldine Chaplin as a woman who plans to get revenge on a witch (Bernadette Lafont) who killed her brother.  Lafont is the leader of a gang of…

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Duelle (Une Quarantaine)

BBBB (out of 5) A mysterious beauty (Juliet Berto) shows up in a small hotel lobby late at night and asks the woman behind the desk to help her track down a man she is looking for.  Getting involved, the desk clerk (Hermine Karagheuz) eventually witnesses a couple of murders and crosses paths with another mysterious…

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Fantastic Planet (La Planete Sauvage)

BBB (out of 5) Curiously animated science-fiction fable that has been a cult favourite since its premiere at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival, where it took a special prize. Execution overcomes plot familiarity as a barely subtle plot about class division takes place on the planet of Ygam, where a race of blue giants called Draags…

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Koko: A Talking Gorilla (Koko: Le Gorille Qui Parle)

BBBB (out of 5) Barbet Schroeder’s fascinating documentary follows the life of a gorilla who communicates through sign language, and her interactions with Penny Patterson, the researcher who taught her to do so. Magnificent footage captures the development of the animal’s language skills, including the eventual development of her ability to understand English without the…

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News From Home

BBB (out of 5) More radical experimentation from Chantal Akerman, and another test of your patience that pays off if you stick it out. She films the island of Manhattan with a static camera that examines streets, subways, shop windows and buildings. Over these images you hear her voice reading out letters from her mother,…

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