73-74, 418-420 4 by Agnès Varda

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
Post Reply
Message
Author
nostalghic
Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2008 9:10 am

Re: 73-74, 418-420 4 by Agnès Varda

#176 Post by nostalghic » Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:30 am

Ah ok, that's good news. I based my original comment on this list of potential Studio Canal OOPs http://www.criterionforum.org/listing.p ... &alpha=oop" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; which featured Cléo de 5 à 7.

User avatar
cdnchris
Site Admin
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:45 pm
Location: Washington
Contact:

Re: 73-74, 418-420 4 by Agnès Varda

#177 Post by cdnchris » Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:38 am

That's the original DVD. I have a list of tasks and one of them is to make it clearer what editions are what. Sorry for the confusion.

ezmbmh
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:05 pm

Re: 73-74, 418-420 4 by Agnès Varda

#178 Post by ezmbmh » Fri Dec 31, 2010 6:26 pm

I found Le Bonheur more disturbing and evocative than I expected to from some of the posts I sampled above. I’ve only read Amy Taubin’s essay among the supplements so far and she makes many of the points that occurred to me. What, it seems to me, the film clearly ISN’T is either a imbecilic paean to free love, or the other equally uninteresting polarity, a portrait of man as unfeeling abuser.

As to what the title is about, it occurs to me the subject of the film goes beyond who’s right or wrong, who’s hurt or blameless—it’s one of Varda’s strengths that she has no moral to beat us over the head with (another is she has no overt, or at least as overt, an idealogic point to make, as in some of Godard’s wink-and-nod-to-the-hip-enough deconstructions). Yes, the husband, a simpering satyr, is ridiculous, his assumption that love (as it applies only to him) is all you need, his self-congratulatory homilies that say nothing except he likes to hear himself talk (“You’re like a new wine to me,” “I have enough joy for us both,”) the hideously elaborate and off the point metaphor of the apple orchard he offers as some sort of explanation to his wife. His inability to speak in anything except metaphor underscores his inability to simply see what’s in front of him, what he thinks he can just have forever, and add to if inspiration hits, all of which he’ll lose.
SpoilerShow
But I think Varda, who doesn’t “punish” Francois—even the death of his wife doesn’t seem to leave much of a mark
—seems to be going after the ephemerally and unreliability of love itself. Taubin makes smart points about nature and Mozart, how there’s an eternal (-seeming) spring when everything’s going Francois’ way, how Mozart’s music is sprightly and effervescently bubbling. Nature reflects, welcomes, embraces joy’s endless effulgence. The colors all match, everyone keeps breaking into dance, the kids are lovely and tractable and all of it verges on nauseous except for the tension that Varda slowly brews underneath, the feeling that none of this will last:
SpoilerShow
The marriage,
springtime, the giddy music, the notion that nature itself is in full agreement with François’s delirium of self-love.
SpoilerShow
At the end, whatever differences there were between the two women before, there’s a weird Kim Hunter/Vertigo hit (or Stepford wives, as Taubin says) to the way Emilie replaces Therese--it may look good but something's wrong; it’s autumn, and the colors, if still balanced, are muted, almost somber; nature, which seemed to bless Francois profusions by offering itself everywhere—to lie in, to make a bower for the kids while the parents fondle, to be fashioned into furniture at the wood shop, is not as compliant—a great shot when he visits Emilie the first time after his wife’s death. She’s bought a table (not waited for him to make her one) and on it is a pot so full of flowers it seems ready to topple. This goes as well to the last shot of the film where they don’t seem so much embraced by nature as swallowed by it. The color schemes, which had most of the movie an almost garishly superficial balance, don’t work as well now, not in Emilie, alone, her robe and the book and the wall somehow failing to blend, or the forced manner in which the couple’s clothes match exactly (never needed to when the wife was alive) or the kids, while matching, clash.
The cuts earlier in the film suggest life’s variety and endless bounty, but at the same time that they can’t last, meaning they were ephemeral all along. The music, lovely and mellifluous, keeps stopping. The scenes end with a blinding wash of saturated color. The (dated) multiple cuts back and forth between François and Emilie staring avidly at each other before they collapse into love’s embrace shows both (a bit clumsily) how powerful the moment is to them, and how they can’t seem to pause long enough to take stock of what they’re seeing. These are contrasted to the slower moving (i.e., more lasting) movements of the Mozart at the end, and in two remarkable shots which show what can’t be skipped over or folded into some narcissistic prance of self-enjoyment (Francois literally dancing through the streets between loves earlier):
SpoilerShow
the shot of Therese drowning, repeated not to show it is part of a larger consoling pattern but is one image that will not fade; and the photograph of the family taken in the country before Francois and Emilie reunite—it’s fixed, unmovable or erasable, static, what’s missing-Therese--can’t be cut away, effaced, and Francois’s gaze at his children is at least a bit touched by some self-knowledge, even if the handsome boob has little idea what it’s about.
It’s not only a feminist polemic, or a showcase of New Wave technique and sexual sensibility. If it doesn’t reach the same heights as Ophuls in its use of dance, movement, camera sweeps, it aims, I think, for the same target: it’s foolish, even dangerous to love at all.

I’ll go watch and read the supplements now, and the rest of the entries to see where I was wrong or redundant. Just thought I’d slip these in while everyone was occupied beating each other up on the Winter’s Bone thread.

User avatar
Brian C
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:58 am
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: 73-74, 418-420 4 by Agnès Varda

#179 Post by Brian C » Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:16 am

Don't know if this portends anything, or what the deal is, but Vagabond is listed as OOP when you look at the expanded film list on the Criterion site, which to the best of my knowledge is a recent change. The Varda box is still available, but if anyone's been thinking about picking it up, now might be a good time if Criterion is losing one or more of the films.
Image

User avatar
mfunk9786
Under Chris' Protection
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: 73-74, 418-420 4 by Agnès Varda

#180 Post by mfunk9786 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:58 am

It's an amazing set. A shame to see it go away before an upgrade to Blu-ray could happen.

User avatar
Minkin
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: 73-74, 418-420 4 by Agnès Varda

#181 Post by Minkin » Mon Oct 01, 2012 2:15 am

I couldn't find the page that you located -where it says it's OOP - is it found at the end if listed by spine?
Since Vagabond was previously released, perhaps the website confused the old OOP DVD with the new one in the boxset. I wouldn't think any of the films would be OOP, unless Varda somehow found a better offer (and all four of the films are owned by Varda - correct?).

User avatar
zedz
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: 73-74, 418-420 4 by Agnès Varda

#182 Post by zedz » Mon Oct 01, 2012 4:28 pm

Yeah, to the best of my knowledge, all of the Varda films come direct from Cine-Tamaris (and didn't Criterion actually have a lot more of them up on Hulu at one point?) I can't imagine that Criterion would have licensed the various films in that box set for different periods. (And Vagabond isn't available outside the box set at the moment, is it?)

My bet is website glitch or (hopefully) imminent BluRay upgrade of that title.

User avatar
Matt
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:58 pm

Re: 73-74, 418-420 4 by Agnès Varda

#183 Post by Matt » Mon Oct 01, 2012 4:31 pm

zedz wrote:(and didn't Criterion actually have a lot more of them up on Hulu at one point?)
You're probably thinking of all the Varda films on Mubi.

User avatar
zedz
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: 73-74, 418-420 4 by Agnès Varda

#184 Post by zedz » Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:28 pm

Wasn't that availability tied in with Criterion at the time? Or was that just speculation?

User avatar
Matt
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:58 pm

Re: 73-74, 418-420 4 by Agnès Varda

#185 Post by Matt » Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:44 pm

I want to say that Criterion's arrangement with Mubi as their streaming provider and web partner ended before the Varda films were added, but I'm too lazy to look for proof positive.

User avatar
zedz
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: 73-74, 418-420 4 by Agnès Varda

#186 Post by zedz » Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:45 pm

It's all probably academic until that long-promised, oft-delayed Integrale Varda box set is released by Cine-Tamaris, anyway.

EDIT: Checked out the goosed-up CT website, and "Tout(e) Varda" is now promised for Christmas 2012. A collaboration with Arte.

User avatar
Brian C
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:58 am
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: 73-74, 418-420 4 by Agnès Varda

#187 Post by Brian C » Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:48 pm

Minkin wrote:I couldn't find the page that you located -where it says it's OOP - is it found at the end if listed by spine?
Since Vagabond was previously released, perhaps the website confused the old OOP DVD with the new one in the boxset. I wouldn't think any of the films would be OOP, unless Varda somehow found a better offer (and all four of the films are owned by Varda - correct?).
From the homepage, click "Films", and then click "All Criterion Films". Make sure you're looking at the expanded view.

User avatar
swo17
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:25 am
Location: SLC, UT

Re: 73-74, 418-420 4 by Agnès Varda

#188 Post by swo17 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:54 pm

In other words, about a quarter of the way down the page here.

User avatar
knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: 73-74, 418-420 4 by Agnès Varda

#189 Post by knives » Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:04 pm

It's probably telling that other boxset films do not come up this way pretty much ensuring that this is a glitch.

telamonides
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2009 11:03 am

Re: 73-74, 418-420 4 by Agnès Varda

#190 Post by telamonides » Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:15 am

Well, didn't the original spine number 74 go out of print along with 'Cleo from 5 to 7'? I went through this list and noticed that spine number 73 does not appear in it. I would guess that this may be a database error of some sort.

User avatar
Mr Sausage
Not PETA approved
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:02 pm
Location: Canada

Vagabond (Agnes Varda, 1985)

#191 Post by Mr Sausage » Mon Dec 22, 2014 6:34 am

DISCUSSION ENDS MONDAY, JANUARY 19th AT 6:00 AM.

Members have a two week period in which to discuss the film before it's moved to its dedicated thread in The Criterion Collection subforum. Please read the Rules and Procedures.

This thread is not spoiler free. This is a discussion thread; you should expect plot points of the individual films under discussion to be discussed openly. See: spoiler rules.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

I encourage members to submit questions, either those designed to elicit discussion and point out interesting things to keep an eye on, or just something you want answered. This will be extremely helpful in getting discussion started. Starting is always the hardest part, all the more so if it's unguided. Questions can be submitted to me via PM.




***PM me if you have any suggestions for additions or just general concerns and questions.***

User avatar
Drucker
Your Future our Drucker
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 9:37 am

Re: Vagabond (Agnes Varda, 1985)

#192 Post by Drucker » Mon Jan 05, 2015 7:32 am

What does it mean to be a vagabond? To be aimless and directionless? What are the similarities between the life of a vagabond, on the road and on the run, and a family that is immobile and has settled down? This film has many beautiful contradictions. There are people who are constantly in motion who hate being in motion, but who are comfortable with who they are. When Mona is with her peers at the end of the film, she remarks how she is "sick of moving." But she only physically moves and physically changes. Throughout the film, she is someone who knows who they are and is confident in themselves. At the same time, she meets people who are physically immobile with permanent mailing addresses, but whose personality and actions seem to indicate these people have not yet figured themselves out yet.

Does a vagabond have an end-result or a place they are going? More importantly: what defines a vagabond? That last question seems to be the key to Varda's film. For though our protagonist has no permanent address or final destination in mind as she travels about her day, she doesn't seem nearly as "lost" as people she encounters. Those who try to save her throughout the film get frustrated and reject her, but they only end up displaying their own closed-mindedness.

When Mona joins us, we don't know how far along in her journey she is, but the film does an excellent job of putting perspective of homeless people. While the film is very personal, for both Mona and the people she meets, it actually starts with a pretty great statement. She comes out of nowhere. The farmer who finds her body mentions that "she came out of nowhere." She appears out of nowhere to boys on the beach. She appears out of nowhere to the family that has the livestock (goats?). This matters because so often, we see homeless people in our everyday lives, and though we have no actual idea who they are, or where they came from, we must rationalize their "plight." (and often assume it is a plight). Varda doesn't give us an easy out either. The girl appears on a beach when we first meet her, still alive, and we don't know how she got there. But this is vital. Because we must realize that we don't know where strangers are or where they come from, especially ones we assume are "lost" or in need of help. (I sincerely don't mean to belittle the plight of the homeless or needy in our society. I only mean to point out that trying to ascertain where those people came from distracts from a more important notion of figuring out who a person truly is._ The truck driver who only wants to have sex with her and the gas station attendant that won't trust her with a true job judge her more harshly than those we meet later on, but the effect is the same. Once she is judged a "Vagabond" we assume Mona needs direction. The easy assumption is that if she’s in the situation she’s found herself in with life, it must be an accident in search of correction. But maybe she is a vagabond by choice.

But then again, maybe she's not really a vagabond at all. Is Mona really any more lost than anyone else in this film? The boys who first encounter her have mailing addresses, girlfriends, and own property, but they are merely petty thieves. Rather than rely on different people constantly for goodwill, they rely on the same people, night after night, they rely on the same people.

And who is at fault with the tree woman and the farming family, in terms of imposing their will on Mona? They simultaneously both peg her as a vagabond who is lost and coming from nowhere, but this is not true. And while they think they are helping her out, in reality they never truly invite her into their lives, saying that she can only stay in cars or a trailer separate from their true family. Their gestures are empty.

The farm family is fascinating because they go to show that just because one lives relatively "off the grid" does not mean one is a vagabond. Nobody should consider this family vagabonds, even though they refuse capitalism and modern day conveniences. They have chosen to live a simpler life off of the land. Whereas people who are more in touch with above ground society have family and hotels to travel to and with, there is a similar network in the "underground". In reality, Mona and the family should have much in common and perhaps under different circumstances, Mona and this family could have gotten along. But the family has a set of rules and norms it lives by, even if they are different than most in society. But instead, the patriarch is condescending and considers her a dreamer. Mona, in turn, considers him the same kind of boss she strives to get away from, the one who clearly drove her to her current state.

While the next woman she meets seems more accepting, she is judgmental from the other side society. The last family thought they needed to give Mona her own opportunity to "better" herself and she would become a productive member of society. The tree woman thinks Mona needs her help to properly grow-up. She would go a step further with direction action than the last people she encounters. Unfortunately, she too condescends. She even talks about Mona like she's one of the trees she studies, saying that she has "taken root" in her car. She refers to Mona by her stench. While she is sweeter to her than the last family, it is clear she thinks Mona is someone who needs help and saving.

At the end, it seems like she has finally found a mate or two, but they don't work out or have friends and family who reject her.

She's dead, but she was never lost. Everybody is concerned about her job or where she physically is located. But other people have those things figured out, and they are no happier nor less "lost" than she is. She had one goal, and that was to live life the way she wanted. Yolande, near the end, picks up on this. Realizing that she is no better off with a boyfriend she can't feel close with than being alone. Perhaps Yolande is about to start a journey similar to Mona’s, as she has been cast off through no fault of her own.

Interestingly, Mona rarely seems to be going anywhere, physically, on her own accord. She hitchhikes and lets others do the driving. If given the opportunity to stay put, like spending an afternoon with Yolande's grandmother, staying in the trailer of the farming family, or even staying in the tree-woman's car while she goes to work, she seems to choose to stay put. The people she encounters, however, seem to tell her that is not good enough, and they send her on her way with money (or cheese!). Not only is she arguably not lost at all, she would be happy not to even be wandering at all! Would she be happy to stay put and do nothing if she had a proper shelter? Perhaps she would. So who's fault is her being a vagabond, really?

The ending is just perfect and ties everything together. Who was Mona? Well while she was alive, people told stories about her, described her in their own words instead of Mona’s. Why should that change in death? Though Mona is inarguably more comfortable with who she is as a person than the people she encounters on her journey, their judging and labeling of her tells us more about them than it does about Mona.

User avatar
ordinaryperson
Joined: Fri Feb 28, 2014 4:18 pm
Location: Earth, Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy, Universe

Re: Vagabond (Agnes Varda, 1985)

#193 Post by ordinaryperson » Mon Jan 05, 2015 4:05 pm

Here is my poorly written review:
Vagabond opens with a girl laying dead in a ditch ; We later find out that her name is Mona Bergeron. The story is told through interviews with people who have seen her in the last couple of months. That opens up a plot hole, how did they find people that know her without knowing her ID, but I digress. It turns out she was homeless and hitchhiked her way around. The town(s) kind of remind me of the town I live in, with the grey skies and leafless trees. Which is thanks to the good cinematography; I can practically feel the cold atmosphere in every shot. As the film goes on Mona lives and works with various people, she eventually starts to hang out with druggies where she continuously gets wasted. Although Sandrine Bonnaire’s performance was well acted, I didn’t like the character she portrayed. I also thought that the movie got degradingly boring and slow; the film seem to be on repeat but only with different characters. First she gets a job/a place to stay at, then gets fired/ forced to leave, and finally gets wasted and/or begs for money. I saw this on the Criterion disc with no supplements, so have nothing to say about them. I liked this movie, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to see it again.

User avatar
Michael Kerpan
Spelling Bee Champeen
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:20 pm
Location: New England
Contact:

Re: Vagabond (Agnes Varda, 1985)

#194 Post by Michael Kerpan » Tue Jan 06, 2015 1:47 am

Some random thoughts ....

This seems ultimately sadder because it shows two instances where Mona is more or less genuinely happy -- with Assoun, pruning vines and visiting briefly with "Aunt Lydia". Interestingly, these are the only people she identifies herself to (as far as I recall) -- although she adopted "Mona" as her name (not too far from her actual given name of Simone), she rarely actually shares her adopted name with others.

I see no reason to fault the farming/herding family. They were extremely generous -- and were willing to let her do what she herself said she wanted to. When she decided to loaf (and do nothing other than loaf), they simply could not afford to keep her.

My wife and I _did_ find that there was some sort of time dilation in this. While NOT boring, time did seem to move surprisingly slowly.

My sense was, that harsh as Mona's death was, she died free -- which may not (would not) have been the case if the druggie asshole had managed to pimp her out to someone (or some organization) in Toulouse.

User avatar
Drucker
Your Future our Drucker
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 9:37 am

Re: Vagabond (Agnes Varda, 1985)

#195 Post by Drucker » Mon Jan 12, 2015 10:56 am

Can anyone who is a big fan of the French new wave put this film/Varda in general in a context for me? It's a genre I constantly dip my toes in, but with the exception of the early Truffaut films, have not madly in fallen in love with anything I've seen. I've now seen this and Cleo From 9 to 5 and while I think there's a lot there, and enjoy the films while I watch them, I just can't feel moved by these films.

User avatar
Michael Kerpan
Spelling Bee Champeen
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:20 pm
Location: New England
Contact:

Re: Vagabond (Agnes Varda, 1985)

#196 Post by Michael Kerpan » Mon Jan 12, 2015 11:26 am

Much of Varda's work seems more akin to Rouch's documentaries (which were a sort of New Wave predecessor). Stylistically, each of the New Wave directors are pretty different from each other. Perhaps the documentarist air of Varda gives ypu a feeling of "detachment". I pwersonally found Cleo and Vagabond (and Gleaners, for that matter) moving.

User avatar
Lemmy Caution
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 3:26 am
Location: East of Shanghai

Re: 73-74, 418-420 4 by Agnès Varda

#197 Post by Lemmy Caution » Mon Apr 13, 2015 12:12 pm

Well the Film Club got me to re-watch this. My memory from the first viewing, likely a decade ago, focused on the central performance and the bleakness of her existence/demise. But this time I tuned in more to the artful structure of the film, the sound design, the way that most of the people she encounters are dissatisfied and searching in their own ways, the quirky Varda touches such as a character speaking directly to the camera.

I also liked how the woman who studies the trees focuses our attention on to nature and reinforces the feel of outdoors and the chill and such. Because Mona is outdoors much of the time and dies there as well. I had forgotten that plane trees were at issue, as I live in downtown Shanghai, the former French Concession, where French plane trees line the roads. Just yesterday and today they dumped their pollen filling the gutters, and during the film I thought that if the French plane trees succumb to the fungus they could import them back form China.

On this viewing I found Mona more sympathetic. She's young and sometimes surly, but also is willing to work at times, trusts a few people, laughs and is genuinely a free spirit. I think also the few folks who try to prey upon her and others who shun her make her seem more sympathetic. But still she can be frustrating and difficult -- and her defense mechanism rear up quickly. Anyway, the re-watch helped me appreciate the style and craft of the film, rather than the narrative and lead performance which stood out on first viewing (or at least in memory).

adavis53
Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:52 am
Location: New York City

Re: 73-74, 418-420 4 by Agnès Varda

#198 Post by adavis53 » Thu Sep 05, 2019 12:20 pm

Rosalie Varda apparently confirmed that she's collaborating with Criterion on a box set equivalent to the soon-to-be-released-in-France L'integrale.

https://www.amazon.fr/Agn%C3%A8s-Varda- ... way&sr=8-1.

Should not be too surprising but given the wealth of films in the L'integrale set it would be an outstanding production.

https://www.indiewire.com/2019/09/agnes ... 202171080/

User avatar
movielocke
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 12:44 am

Re: 73-74, 418-420 4 by Agnès Varda

#199 Post by movielocke » Thu Sep 05, 2019 12:32 pm

I joked about a “six” by varda upgrade a few months ago, that uses the same empty spine number to drive people crazy. Funny to see they’re working on something similar!

User avatar
mfunk9786
Under Chris' Protection
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: 73-74, 418-420 4 by Agnès Varda

#200 Post by mfunk9786 » Thu Sep 05, 2019 1:19 pm

adavis53 wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 12:20 pm
Rosalie Varda apparently confirmed that she's collaborating with Criterion on a box set equivalent to the soon-to-be-released-in-France L'integrale.

https://www.amazon.fr/Agn%C3%A8s-Varda- ... way&sr=8-1.

Should not be too surprising but given the wealth of films in the L'integrale set it would be an outstanding production.

https://www.indiewire.com/2019/09/agnes ... 202171080/
I'm having a difficult time getting the link to open, but are you talking about the TOUT(e) VARDA DVD set? Because if so - yes, very exciting indeed!

Post Reply