Viva Varda! The Films of Agnès Varda
Screening Dates
  • February 14, 2020 6:30
  • February 15, 2020 8:30
  • February 20, 2020 6:30

Rapturous … A euphoric swirl of sherbet colors … [Demy] elevates even the most mundane actions to the spectacular.”

Melissa Anderson, Village Voice

Pure enchantment! Jacques Demy’s valentine to singing-and-dancing MGM musicals casts real life sisters Catherine Deneuve and Françoise Dorléac as music-minded twins in a sleepy seaside town in southwestern France. The two dream of more exciting lives elsewhere; their mother (Danielle Darrieux) yearns for a long-lost love. The arrival of a travelling carnival opens up new possibilities for romance and escape. Demy’s gorgeous confection, shot on location, features a jazzy score by Michel Legrand and widescreen cinematography by Ghislain Cloquet. The director had Rochefort’s main square repainted in colourful pastels for the production. The notable cast also includes Hollywood legend Gene Kelly, West Side Story alum George Chakiris, French mainstay Michel Piccoli — and, in a cameo as a nun, Agnès Varda, Demy’s wife. La La Land director Damien Chazelle is clearly a fan of Demy’s fantasia.


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.