Viva Varda! The Films of Agnès Varda
- Jacquot de Nantes
- Agnès Varda
- 118 DCP
- January 17, 2020 8:10
- January 20, 2020 6:30
“Heartwarming and heartbreaking … A masterpiece.”Roger Ebert
In the final year of her husband Jacques Demy’s life, Agnès Varda collaborated with him on this touching and tenderly articulated docudrama, based on Demy’s recollections of childhood. The film tells of young Jacquot, son of a mechanic and a hairdresser, growing up in provincial Nantes during Nazi Occupation. It chronicles his passion for the arts as a boy (portrayed by three different actors, for different stages of his youth) and the pull of cinema that led him to Paris to become a filmmaker. The ailing Demy appears on-camera for documentary interludes, offering commentary on the dramatization; Varda employs clips from his films to stress the autobiographical nature of his work. Completed shortly after Demy’s death, Jacquot de Nantes is a singular tribute to the late artist, movingly made by the woman he shared his life with.
Agnès Varda’s husband Jacques Demy was himself a prominent and popular French director, known for his ravishing romances, fairy tales, and musicals, including The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964) and The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967). The two filmmakers were married in 1962; Demy died, at age 59, in 1990. Varda’s films about her husband and his cinema — she made three — form an important part of her own body of work. She also oversaw important restorations of Cherbourg and Rochefort. The latter screens as part of this program.