Varda’s freewheeling documentary, never before released in the United States, is a deeply idiosyncratic portrait of the famed French actress, singer and cultural muse Jane Birkin. The film—ostensibly spanning the decade from age 30 to 40 and produced on the occasion of Birkin’s 40th birthday—delves us directly into Birkin’s thoughts, hopes, and fears through series of staged miniatures drawn from the history of Western art, in which Varda reconfigures famous Janes through time in Birkin’s likeness. Strewn throughout are intimate moments with Birkin and her family, showing us the private, quiet side of the star. And, as only Varda can conjure, with Jane B. Par Agnès V. it’s possible to speak of a detailed, rigorous mise-en-scène, rare indeed for a so-called documentary.
2k digital restoration from the original 35mm negative completed at Eclair Labs, supervised by Agnés Varda, with support from the Centre National du Cinéma et de l’Image Animee (CNC), Paris.
Appears in: (Re)Discoveries: New Restorations, New Prints
Genres: Documentary, Experimental
Other Films by Agnès Varda
Varda’s breakthrough film—a landmark of feminist cinema and one of the only Nouvelle Vague (New Wave) films to deal entirely with a woman’s perspective on life—follows Cléo (Corinne Marchand), a beautiful singer who, following a fateful and harrowing tarot reading, fears she has cancer and that death is imminent. Cléo’s life, very far removed from …
Varda’s son Mathieu Demy stars alongside Jane Birkin and Charlotte Gainsbourg in this tender look inside a mother-daughter-boy love triangle of sorts. Lucy (Gainsbourg) and Julien (Demy), 14-year-old schoolmates, have a kind of on-again, off-again relationship—tentative, at times cruel, at times sweet; in short, a teenage romance. But when Julien takes a liking to Lucy’s …