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Films by Agnes Varda (Saturday, March 28), Godard (April 2), and Tony Conrad (April 5)

From: John
Sent on: Friday, March 27, 2009 8:36 AM
Dear Radical Visionaries,

Several exciting and unusual films are scheduled for the next couple weeks. Below is information on the Agnes Varda films tomorrow (Saturday). Check our group's website for information on the Godard and Conrad film programs next Thursday and Sunday.


Join us Saturday March 28 at Berkeley's Pacific Film Archive when we experience two remarkable films and a charming short by the great French director, Agnes Varda:

?Cleo de 5 a 7. The film that established Varda's international reputation, Cleo from 5 to 7 is a classic work of the French New Wave, distinguished by its original form and intimate portraiture. Presenting events that appear to unfold in real time, Cleo chronicles two hours in the life of a pop singer, who is waiting to learn if she has cancer. Shot entirely on location in the streets of Paris, the film features a score by Michel Legrand (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg) and cameos by Legrand, Jean-Luc Godard, and Anna Karina. Cleo demonstrates one of Varda's favorite themes, that 'one isn't born a woman, one becomes one.? In the New Yorker, Pauline Kael described Varda's work as 'one of the few films directed by a woman in which the viewer can sense a difference. . . . (It) sustains an unsentimental yet subjective tone that is almost unique in the history of movies.'

Daguerreotypes. Shot along a few short blocks of the rue Daguerre, where Varda has made her home for decades, Daguerreotypes is a playful and affectionate portrait of a thoroughly Parisian neighborhood, and an homage of sorts to the pioneering photographer who was the street's namesake. In 1975, having recently given birth, Varda wanted to stay close to home, but not to stop filming. So she created what she called 'cinema-next-door,' using a camera tethered to her apartment by an extension cord. The film focuses on the street's shopkeepers, presenting them as 'types'--butcher and baker, laundress and tailor, sellers of perfumes, accordions, and clocks--but also as individuals who speak to the camera of their origins and dreams. The editing is whimsical, pointed, and punning: a magician's performance at the corner cafe is intercut with shots of people at work to form a kind of running commentary, revealing the mystery and art of quotidian commerce. (80 mins)

Preceded by the short:
Du cote de la cote (France, 1958). Capturing azure waters and lobster-skinned tourists in the saturated hues of a vacation slide, Varda?s jaunty, witty film celebrates the beauty and absurdity of the Cote d'Azur. (24 mins)

An important figure in the development of the French New Wave and the only female director associated with the movement, Agnes Varda (b. 1928) holds a singular position in film history? She was educated in literature and psychology at the Sorbonne and art history at the Ecole du Louvre, and her films draw on her love of the arts--photography and literature in particular. She describes her style of expression as cinecriture (film-writing): 'The cutting, the movement, the points-of-view, the rhythm of filmmaking and editing have been felt and considered in the way a writer chooses the depth of meaning and sentences, the type of words, number of adverbs, paragraphs, asides, chapters which advance the story or break its flow.'"

Saturday's films are part of "Agnes Varda: Cinecriture," a month-long (March 6-April 18) retrospective at the PFA. For more infomation:

Pacific Film Archive Directions and Information:

5:30 Purchase tickets at PFA's Box Office (2575 Bancroft) then meet across the street at Cafe Milano (2522 Bancroft) for salads/sandwiches/coffee.

6:10 Head to PFA's theater (2575 Bancroft) to take our seats. The films start at 6:30.

10:30 We will meet afterwards at Caffe Strada (two blocks up Bancroft, at 2300 College) for conversation.


Jean Luc Godard's Made in U.S.A.
Thursday April 2, at the Castro Theater
More info:
Radical Visions Cinema Club

Tony Conrad's Process and Flicker Films
Sunday April 5, at the SF Art Institute
More info:
Radical Visions Cinema Club

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