Director Agnès Varda is getting ready to say goodbye

At the Berlin Film Festival where she presented her documentary “Varda by Agnès”, New Wave filmmaker Agnès Varda said she was “slowing down” and “getting ready to say goodbye”. She announced that she would no longer lecture or interview one-on-one.

“I should stop talking about myself, and here I am, I have to prepare to say goodbye, to leave,” said Agnès Varda, at a press conference. “It’s just a matter of slowing down to find the necessary peace,” added the French filmmaker, who was asked if she was saying goodbye to the film.

A movie to say goodbye

His documentary “Varda by Agnès”, is in two parts in the form of a movie lesson. Agnès Varda looks back on her career of more than 60 years. It will be broadcast on March 18th on the television channel Arte in France. She talks about his inspirations and his work, the 20 thcentury in the first pane and from the 2000s in the second period it was more focused on the documentary and visual arts.

Film image & quot; Varda by Agnes & quot;  presented at the Berlin Film Festival 2019.Image from the movie “Varda by Agnes” presented at the Berlin Film Festival 2019.

 © DR

“I’ve done a lot of lectures everywhere, at universities, film schools, all kinds of places, festivals, even small film clubs, and I thought I should do a movie now that’s like a conference, “she explained. This film is “a way to say goodbye, because I do not want to talk about my films anymore”, added the director, stating that “now, she would not accept to lecture anymore” or “to give interviews in head-to-head”.

“Women have conquered the field of cinema”

Agnès Varda, a pioneer woman for her time, returned to her directorial debut in 1954 with her first feature film “La Pointe courte”. “There were very few women directors,” she said. But “when I made this film, what interested me was not to say ‘I’m a female director’, it was to make a radical film,” she said. “Today, it is very important that women not only be directors, but cheffers operators, mixers, sound engineers, editors … Women have gradually conquered the field of cinema”, s’ she is congratulated.
The director of “Cléo de 5 à 7”, who led with actress Cate Blanchett a women’s march for equality at the last Cannes Film Festival, estimated however “half happy” with this operation, that she found “a little too chic cinema”. “It was beautiful women on beautiful stairs with beautiful dresses,” she said. “And it’s less effective sometimes than walking in the street or meeting.”

Source: La réalisatrice Agnès Varda se prépare “à dire au revoir”

French director controversy over ‘women aged 50’ quip

French director and writer Yann Moix has caused controversy after saying he “could not love a 50-year-old woman” and “only goes out with Asian women”.

Mr Moix, aged 50 himself, made the statements in an interview with magazine Marie-Claire, published on January 4.

He said: “I am telling you the truth. Aged 50 [myself], I am incapable of loving women aged 50. I think that’s too old. When I am 60 years old, I will be able to; 50 will then appear young to me.”

He continued: “It doesn’t disgust me, it just wouldn’t occur to me. [Women aged 50] are invisible to me. I prefer younger women’s bodies, that’s all.”

He also said that he only goes out with Asians, specifying “Koreans, Chinese, Japanese”, adding: “Many people would not admit that, as it is racial bias. Maybe that is sad for the women I go out with, but the Asian race is rich, large and infinite enough, that I do not feel embarrassed.”

His comments have caused controversy on social media.

Journalist and author Mona Chollet said: “Yann Moix is a sad man, confirmation in Marie-Claire.”

Source: French director controversy over ‘women aged 50’ quip

Netflix’s ‘To Each, Her Own’ Is An Ambitious, Overcomplicated French Film

 

Some movies are so thoroughly mediocre that you just want to yell at them to be better. That is the case with the French romantic comedy To Each, Her Own. The story is bursting with ideas, so many ideas, in fact, that it could’ve been something great. Instead, To Each, Her Own, much like its protagonist, wants it all. By trying to speak to so many ideas, the movie ends up saying very little. The ambition of director Myriam Aziza (who also co-wrote the script with Denyse Rodriguez-Tome) is admirable. However, her Netflix film badly needs someone who can rein in the unwieldy script [ . . . ]

Read full review at THE DAILY DOT: Netflix’s ‘To Each, Her Own’ Is An Ambitious, Overcomplicated French Film

Why you need to watch ‘Jeune Femme’: the brilliant French film redefining female stereotypes

Jeune femme’ subverts conventions with its flawed title character

A millennial malaise has swept popular culture, as less refined protagonists are taking centre-stage. New York has Obvious Child; London has Fleabag; and now Paris has Jeune femme. In her debut feature film, Léonor Serraille set out to “invent a female character we don’t see in French cinema; someone who isn’t too perfect, too heroic”.

Her lively script draws on her experiences in Montparnasse as a young adult, a period defined by urban loneliness. Broken after the demise of her 10-year romance, Paula (Laetitia Dosch) pieces herself back together by mending damaged relationships and forging new ones. From the outset, Jeune femme grapples with the struggles of Generation Y, showing Paula’s desperation when she head-butts her ex-boyfriend’s door and spews a furious monologue to camera.

“Léonor wanted the audience to feel really bored by this woman at the beginning,” says Dosch in her French-tipped English. “Will she shut up? Will she calm down? And then get used to her and discover her and get over our prejudices. What is beautiful about this film is that she could really become homeless, she could really become crazy, but she climbs back, little by little.”

The comedy was rapturously received at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Caméra d’Or (the equivalent of the Palme d’Or for the first-time film-maker). “We were so lucky that it happened because it changed the destiny of Jeune femme,” says Dosch. “The awards are on TV so people wanted to see the film after that. We were gasping next to Joaquin Phoenix onstage and Will Smith was there saying hello. That was very weird. Completely crazy.”

Dosch – who is known in France for her 80-character one-woman show – was recognised for her explosive performance as Paula at the Césars (akin to the Oscars), where she was nominated for Best New Actress. How did she prepare for this career-changing role? “For me it was like having a freer little sister. I walked down the street in character, talking to myself, to see how people looked at me as a misfit. I loved doing that. Paula’s situation is very typical of her time.”

This timeliness is also apparent in Jeune femme’s presentation of sexual consent. In one scene, Paula disarms a stranger who complains he “doesn’t like sleeping alone” with the deadpan quip: “Me neither, maybe you should get a teddy bear?” Later on, the narrative takes a more sinister turn when she scrambles to escape from her former partner who, ignoring her cries, prises off her clothes. The voyeurism of the top shot makes for uncomfortable viewing, encouraging empathy towards Paula. Serraille’s evaluation of this theme chimes with Hollywood’s #MeToo movement.

Despite its near-unanimous support in the Anglophone world, Time’s Up has been viewed with more suspicion in France – even though its home-grown stars Léa Seydoux, Florence Darel and Judith Godrèche have all accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct. In January, 100 Frenchwomen penned an open letter for Le Monde, condemning the way #MeToo has “prevented men from practising their profession as punishment, when the only thing they did wrong was touch a knee, try to steal a kiss or speak about ‘intimate’ things at a work dinner”. The missive also criticises the country’s #BalanceTonPorc hashtag (translated as #OutYourPig) for expressing “an enthusiasm for sending pigs to the slaughter”. Laetitia Dosch is hesitant to come down strongly on either side of the argument. “You have women saying, ‘We can’t treat men this way!’ because now they’re getting scared of us,” she says, carefully. “I can understand their points. It’s time to think and not get too impulsive because these are complicated questions and it’s difficult to make law about this.”

It’s not just #MeToo that has divided the French film industry, the community was similarly polarised by Jeune femme upon its releaseDosch admits to being “deeply upset” by negative reviews on the French radio programme Le Masque et la Plume (The Mask and the Pen), where the male critics lambasted her character’s “selfishness” and “poor childcare skills”.

“Characters are too formulaic in France,” she claps back. “They’re definitely very prim and proper. Either you’re a little crazy, or you’re sweet and vulnerable, or you’re a very serious lawyer. I think we have a big fight ahead for women characters in art. There is a tendency to oversimplify their behaviour, but I do hope things are evolving.”

Such resistance to change is hardly surprising: French culture actively seeks to preserve tradition. The news that Cannes banned Netflix films from competition at next month’s festival – since they are not distributed theatrically – stunned American film journalists. But this decision is much less shocking when considering that France has had an institution to legislate against linguistic change since 1635. By being unapologetically of-the-moment, Jeune femme has paved the way for more unsympathetic heroines in cinema.

Source: Why you need to watch ‘Jeune Femme’: the brilliant French film redefining female stereotypes