Eclipse Series 43: Agnès Varda in California

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swo17
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:25 am
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Eclipse Series 43: Agnès Varda in California

#1 Post by swo17 » Mon May 18, 2015 4:46 pm

Eclipse Series 43: Agnès Varda in California

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The legendary French filmmaker Agnès Varda, whose remarkable career began in the 1950s and has continued into the twenty-first century, produced some of her most provocative works while living on the West Coast of the United States. After temporarily relocating from France to California in the late sixties with her husband, Jacques Demy, so that he could make his first Hollywood film, Varda became entranced by the politics, youth culture, and sunshine of the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas, and created documentary explorations and fictional narratives—sometimes within the same film. She returned a decade later, and made more fascinating portraits of outsiderness. Her five revealing, entertaining California films, encompassing shorts and features, are collected in this set, which demonstrates that Varda was as deft an artist in unfamiliar terrain as she was on her own turf.

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Uncle Yanco

In her effervescent first California film, Agnès Varda delves into her own family history. The short documentary Uncle Yanco features Varda tracking down a Greek emigrant relative she's never met, discovering an artist and kindred soul living a bohemian life in Sausalito.

Black Panthers

Agnès Varda turns her camera on an Oakland demonstration against the imprisonment of activist and Black Panthers cofounder Huey P. Newton. In addition to demonstrating Varda's fascination with her adopted surroundings and her empathetic humanity, this perceptive short is also a powerful and political sign of the times.

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Lions Love (...and Lies)

Agnès Varda goes to Los Angeles, taking New York counterculture with her. In a rented house in the sun-soaked Hollywood hills, a woman and two men—Viva, of Warhol Factory fame, and James Rado and Gerome Ragni, who created and starred in the rock musical Hair—delight in each others' bodies while musing on love, stardom, and politics. They are soon joined by underground director Shirley Clarke, playing herself as well as functioning as a surrogate for Varda. Lions Love (...and Lies) is a metacinematic inquiry into the alternating currents of whimsy and tragedy that typified late sixties America.

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Mur Murs

After returning to Los Angeles from France in 1979, Agnès Varda created this kaleidoscopic documentary about the striking murals that decorate the city. Bursting with color and vitality, Mur Murs is as much an invigorating study of community and diversity as it is an essential catalog of unusual public art.

Documenteur

This small-scale fiction about a divorced mother and her child (played by Agnès Varda's own son) leading a quiet existence on L.A.'s margins was made directly after Mur Murs, and though Documenteur is different in form and tone from that film, the two are complexly interwoven, with overlapping images and ideas. This meditative portrait of urban isolation overflows with subtle visual poetry.

criterion10
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:19 pm

Re: Eclipse Series 43: Agnès Varda in California

#2 Post by criterion10 » Mon May 18, 2015 5:29 pm

I'm assuming that the interview filmed with Varda shortly ago will end up being posted online, similar to the interview between Robert Downey Sr. and Paul Thomas Anderson.

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Svevan
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Re: Eclipse Series 43: Agnès Varda in California

#3 Post by Svevan » Tue May 19, 2015 3:40 am

Lions Love is fantastic, essential Varda. This is an exciting set!

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Aunt Peg
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Re: Eclipse Series 43: Agnès Varda in California

#4 Post by Aunt Peg » Tue May 19, 2015 3:57 am

Svevan wrote:Lions Love is fantastic, essential Varda. This is an exciting set!
Yes, I agree. Can't wait to get this box set.

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ptatler
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Re: Eclipse Series 43: Agnès Varda in California

#5 Post by ptatler » Tue May 19, 2015 9:03 am

Really looking forward to this set. The Gorin might be my favorite Eclipse and this seems to be cut from the same cloth.

One odd thing: is this the first Eclipse they've assigned spine numbers to?

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danieltiger
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Re: Eclipse Series 43: Agnès Varda in California

#6 Post by danieltiger » Tue May 19, 2015 12:55 pm

ptatler wrote:Really looking forward to this set. The Gorin might be my favorite Eclipse and this seems to be cut from the same cloth.

One odd thing: is this the first Eclipse they've assigned spine numbers to?
That looks like a bug to me. I really doubt there will be a #4303 on the side of Lions Love (. . . and Lies).

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ptatler
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Re: Eclipse Series 43: Agnès Varda in California

#7 Post by ptatler » Tue May 19, 2015 1:00 pm

danieltiger wrote:That looks like a bug to me.
Yeah. It's already gone. Nothing to see here...

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NABOB OF NOWHERE
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Re: Eclipse Series 43: Agnès Varda in California

#8 Post by NABOB OF NOWHERE » Wed May 20, 2015 10:10 am

Is it such a hard and fast rule for Eclipse sets not having supplements that has prevented the readily available bonus intros and interviews from the Tamaris set not being included?

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ptatler
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Re: Eclipse Series 43: Agnès Varda in California

#9 Post by ptatler » Wed May 20, 2015 10:13 am

Yeah. Not to mention Criterion's own online-only supplements (P.T. Anderson and Robert Downey Sr.). I mean, even on a DVD, we're not talking about a whole lot of extra space being taken.

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: Eclipse Series 43: Agnès Varda in California

#10 Post by Michael Kerpan » Fri Aug 14, 2015 11:36 pm

Working my way through. Enjoyed Uncle Yanco and Mur Murs quite a bit. Black Panthers was interesting as a historical curio (but not very ccharacteristic of her overall work).

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barryconvex
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Re: Eclipse Series 43: Agnès Varda in California

#11 Post by barryconvex » Tue Aug 18, 2015 9:47 pm

working my way through the 3 discs as well. Uncle Yanco is a brilliant short about a great unsung artist. i hope his work is preserved somewhere-it really is amazing. Documenteur so far is the real winner of the set for me (although i've yet to watch Mur Murs and Lions...was excellent as well) it caught me somewhat off guard with it's moving portrait of a mother and child trying to eke out a life in the unglamorous parts of LA. Not sure what i was expecting but this one really got to me. Great performance by Varda's son and Sabine Mamou as his mother. This set cements Varda as one of the all time directors for me...

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