Jules and Jim, 1961

Jules and Jim is François Truffaut’s deceptively lyrical, yet understatedly complex nouvelle vague film on love and friendship. At the heart of the conflict is the enigmatic Catherine (exquisitely played by the incomparable Jeanne Moreau), whose chameleon personality adapts to suit the relationship she is in. (Note the effect of the equally inscrutable character, Anna, […]

The Beaches of Agnès, 2008

A clear highlight in an already strong French cinema program this year is Agnès Varda’s playful and understated, yet endlessly inventive The Beaches of Agnès. Part autobiographical survey from her childhood in wartime Europe to her lifelong activism (she self-effacingly admits that she missed the events of May 68 because she was living in California […]

Vagabond, 1985

Agnes Varda’s Vagabond is an excoriating, subtly disturbing portrait of alienation and lost direction. The discolored body of a drifter is found in a ditch, frozen to death. Her name is Mona Bergeron (Sandrine Bonnaire), an inscrutable young woman who comes from a good home and possesses employable skills, but has dropped out of society […]