(Agnès Varda, France 1955, 86 min., DCP, French w/subtitles)
Agnès Varda: (Self)-Portraits, Facts and Fiction. Weighing equally the struggle of a couple to sustain their relationship and the struggle of the impoverished inhabitants of a Mediterranean fishing village to survive, La Pointe Courte is a seemingly clear extension of Italian Neorealism. First-time director Agnès Varda professed ignorance of the movement and claimed to have seen very few films at that point, pointing instead to a literary influence in William Faulkner’s The Wild Palms. Beyond the use of primarily non-professional actors and on-location shooting, La Pointe Courte is, in style, like nothing else before it. Varda’s application of a literary structure to cinematic expression, with the assistance of editor Alain Resnais, worked to loosen structural bounds and introduce counterpoint to narrative cinema, earning it the distinction of what historian Georges Sadoul would call, “truly the first film of the nouvelle vague.” In Varda’s own hometown of Sète and on a shoestring budget, she gave birth to the French New Wave.
Presented by Dr. Babak Elahi, Associate Dean and Professor of English, College of Liberal Arts, RIT.