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The Agnes Varda Collection Vol 2 (4 discs) [DVD]

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Agnes Varda, Philippe Maron, Sandrine Bonnaire, Therese Liotard
  • Directors: Agnes Varda
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Artificial Eye
  • DVD Release Date: 22 Feb. 2010
  • Run Time: 123 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002RLHNGO
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 75,618 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Second volume of classics from Agnes Varda - the ancetor of the French new wave. Features The Beaches of Agnes (2008) Jacquot De Nantes (1991) Vagabond (1985) L'Une Chante, L'Autre Pas (1977).

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I'm only reviewing this film at this time, because it's the only one of the set I've watched so far. The eponymous Jacquot is, of course, Varda's long-time partner Jacques Demy, best known as the director of the marvellous 'Les Parapluies de Cherbourg'. Varda's film is a wonderful evocation of Demy's childhood in the town of Nantes on the river Loire,a growing-up which he recalled with great affection and which inspired much of his work. His father ran a garage and from the same premises his mother worked as a hairdresser and young Jacques (or Jacquot his childhood diminutive) was destined to end up as a mechanic in the family business. The film details how he became enchanted by a local puppet theatre and by the cinema and his determination and struggle to become a film maker in spite of his father's opposition, spending hour after hour in the garage loft making paper figures and filming them using stop-go animation.
It's a magical recreation of childhood and comparable to Bergman's Fanny and Alexander, but what's really terrific about Artificial Eye's two Varda box sets is that they come loaded with extras, and not of the superfluous kind. For example, Set One's 'The Gleaners' disc also includes the two hour film Varda later made when she revisited the subject.

Here extras include Demy's early film, the 35-minute Le Sabotier Du Val de Loire, about the clog maker who features in the film, but what's most wonderful and essential after viewing the film is the 16-minute interview with Varda. She recounts how, in 1990, with Demy dying, she made the film of his childhood he was too ill to make.
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Agnès Varda is such an original spirit. You can't label her in one genre.
Her latest documentary on het own life is such fun. She invents cinematographic images to show the stages of her life. One of them is the beach where the water meets the sand and the two of them shapes the form of the other. That is how she sees her lief.
And therefor she orders a load of sand in front of het house and of her workcompany both lacated in a street in Paris, so that is the Beach of Agnès. They work together on the sand for a few days so Agnès can film it as a symbol of het lief and of how she works. She has a little handcamera and she invents nice images to symbolise the things that were important for her in her life, now she is 80 years. But also she films her 'objets trouvées', her found objects and makes poetry of it.

On top of this beautiful 'The Beaches of Agnès' you get three of her movies.
Its a document of the past 5 decennia, that is very worthwhile to have. and I am only very happy to have discovered this collection box on Amazon.co. uk
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I already knew Agnes Varda's films and had watched them with great pleasure over the years. For those who don't, you're in for a treat if you purchase the entire collection. One of the least known is The beaches of Agnes, a film she made when she was 80 years old -- one of the greatest self-portraits of all times.
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... if you are a fan of the French New Wave in general and Varda in particular.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9dd3ca50) out of 5 stars 24 reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9da17534) out of 5 stars VAGABOND 23 Sept. 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
The film opens on the scene of a bare vineyard, it's winter, and a worker is collecting vines off the ground after pruning. He suddenly comes upon a woman, sprawled dead in the frost covered ditch, nothing but an old dirty blanket on her back. Her face is contorted with pain from the cold she suffered. Her hair looks almost gray from being frozen.

The police come to investigate, she's got no identification with her.
But as the film progresses we learn her name is Mona, short for Simone. In flash backs we see her traveling like a leaf on the wind, never staying in one place for too long, hitching rides, and pitching her tent. Bumming cigarettes, and getting water and bread (sometimes dope) from kind strangers, a few she gets to know, but they never really figure out who she is. But, they agree as they talk to the camera, she's someone they'll never forget.
The film takes place during winter, Mona says she likes to travel then because there aren't that many people out, and it's easier to get a ride. Those who she meets, are mostly good, but some bad. She experiences the perils of a young woman traveling alone. Hunger, cold, rape... She isn't a naive street urchin, but a gritty character, tough and defiant.
I found Mona, so endearing and painfully haunting. I became more and more sad, to know she had died. And when that tragic moment came, I couldn't help but cry a little. Sandrine Bonnaire made her seem so real. And I love how the movie was shot. Told in flashbacks, by the people who had known her, however briefly. They speak directly to the camera. A very powerful film, very poignant and absolutely haunting.
Filmed in Nimes, France. In the stark landscape of mid-winter. Anges Varda's masterpiece. Sandrine Bonnaire won the Cesar award for best actress. Even though it's sad and ends (and begins) with tragedy, I am definitely going watch it again.
This film deserves no less than five stars!
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9fa8fc78) out of 5 stars TO LIVE AND DIE IN FRANCE 23 Oct. 2000
By Daniel S. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
After CLEO FROM 5 TO 7, Criterion released a few weeks ago another movie of french director Agnès Varda : VAGABOND. The original title of the movie is SANS TOIT NI LOI which could have been translated WITHOUT ROOF NOR LAW. I don't know whether this last translation makes any sense in english but it sure does in french emphasizing the rebellious side of Sandrine Bonnaire's character.
Still at the beginning of her career, Sandrine Bonnaire gives here a performance that deserves the utmost respect. Surrounded by semi professionals or amateurs, she brings Mona to life and death in a stellar performance. Of course, first you have to accept Agnès Varda's style, a mixture of (false) documentary and fiction.
VAGABOND is the anti-romantic movie by essence. The glorious nature so often depicted by writers and the postcards sent by your lucky friends is replaced by an hostile environment made of mud or frozen water. Sandrine Bonnaire is not wandering through France for fun, she's not heading to the southern part of France in a symbolic search for hope. She just wants to be free and alone. She's the last rebel.
No extra-features with this Criterion release except for english subtitles. Great sound and images which will plunge you deep into the sadness of a cold winter.
A - no hope - DVD.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9dfc5f30) out of 5 stars An isolating, disturbing and terribly moving tale 7 July 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
This movie is one of the best I have ever seen. It poses many questions to the viewerlike, "What is total freedom?" and "Is everyone isolated from one another?". Sandrine Bonnaire captures the Vagabond with a strange cool and shows the viewer a face that truly anyone can become. The story is about a Vagabond, who to many has no name, but leaves a massive impression. We first see her dead and frozen, nothing but a faceless figure that means nothing to anyone. Then as we begin to get glimpses into her life from people she met along the way we begin to give her a face and the face we give her is all too clear. It is the face of an isolated, scared, lonely person who is lost and unable to help herself. As a viwer we are unable to have a rockhard understanding of whether or not we care for the Vagabond. We see her pain so clearly that perhaps we are understanding, yet we also see a selfish person who thinks only of herself. When the film ends we are left wondering how many vagabonds we have come across and whether or not we are one ourselves.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9dee7444) out of 5 stars France in a muted light 27 Sept. 2002
By David Grim - Published on Amazon.com
In Agnes Varda's "Vagabond", a young girl (Mona) drifts from place to place throughout the countryside and towns of France. She scratches out an existence mainly through the largesse of those she meets along the way. Unlike in the United States, where homeless people are assumed to be mental defects, the itinerants portrayed in this film (including the main character) seem to be making a very self-aware and philosophical choice to be vagrants. Mona seems to have dropped out of conventional society out of sheer self-indulgence and an aversion to work, rather than for any other reason. Along the way, characters alternatively envy her lifestyle, take pity on her or revile her completely.
The story also threads characters in and out of the plot, and many seem peripherally related to each other. Throughout the film, some of these characters speak directly to the camera about their impressions of Mona. This technique seems vaguely contrived. But the gritty unwashed feel of the movie makes it a special experience. It lends a documentary feel to the film that draws the viewer in. The director avoids passing off any overt judgments about the main character and her lifestyle. Portrayals of purposeful vagrancy in Europe seem to be a rare phenomenon. The film's unique view of the underexposed underbelly of France makes it worthy enough to ingrain in your memory.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9da4e0cc) out of 5 stars from the Mother of New Wave 26 Aug. 2000
By Laurentian University c/o Hoi Cheu & Kelly Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
An impressive piece! This film was made by the woman who was one of the first pioneers in the 50s to invent the techniques now widely used in "New Wave", "Dogma 95" and "Cinema Verite".... With a deeply moving tale and powerful shots, this film makes the Blair Witch Project looks boring and uninnovative. The DVD transfer is at the best quality, and the package gives helpful and stimulating information to viewers who are unfamiliar with Varda's works.
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