Agnès Varda

La Pointe Courte

La Pointe Courte

The great Agnès Varda's film career began with this graceful, penetrating study of a marriage on the rocks, set against the backdrop of a small Mediterranean fishing village. Both a stylized depiction of the complicated relationship between a married couple (played by Silvia Monfort and Philippe Noiret) and a documentary-like look at the daily struggles of the locals, Varda's discursive, gorgeously filmed debut was radical enough to later be considered one of the progenitors of the coming French New Wave.

Film Info

  • Agnès Varda
  • France
  • 1956
  • 80 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.33:1
  • French
  • Spine #419

Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer
  • New video interview with director Agnès Varda
  • Excerpts from a 1964 episode of the French television series Cinéastes de notre temps, in which Varda discusses her early career
  • New and improved English subtitle translation

Available In

Collector's Set

4 by Agnès Varda

4 by Agnès Varda

DVD Box Set

4 Discs

$79.96

Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer
  • New video interview with director Agnès Varda
  • Excerpts from a 1964 episode of the French television series Cinéastes de notre temps, in which Varda discusses her early career
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
La Pointe Courte
Cast
Philippe Noiret
Him
Silvia Monfort
Her
Credits
Director
Agnès Varda
Written and directed by
Agnès Varda
Editing
Alain Resnais
Music
Pierre Barbaud
Sound editing
Robert Lion
Technical advisor
Carlos Villardebo
Written and directed by
the inhabitants of La Pointe Courte

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Repertory Picks

Agnès Varda in Rochester

Next week, the Dryden Theatre at the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, New York, will kick off Agnès Varda: (Self)-Portraits, Facts and Fiction, a monthlong series celebrating the pioneering French director’s body of work.

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David Bordwell on Agnès Varda, Living Treasure
David Bordwell on Agnès Varda, Living Treasure

Film scholar David Bordwell has written a terrific new piece for his blog about the incredible influence and evolution of Agnès Varda’s six-decade-long filmmaking career. “Varda is now regarded as a living treasure of world cinema,” Bordwell w…

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Agnès Varda in the Believer

Sheila Heti of the Believer had a chance to talk to Agnès Varda during the Toronto International Film Festival—or rather, a chance to be one of a group of reporters whom Varda, at the festival with her film The Beaches of Agnes, addressed in her T…

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AGNÈS’S SANDS OF TIME

This week, Agnès Varda’s beguiling new film, the autobiographical documentary The Beaches of Agnès, makes its U.S. premiere at New York’s Film Forum, and for the occasion A. O. Scott has profiled the indefatigable eighty-one-year-old auteur in …


La Pointe Courte:
How Agnès Varda “Invented” the New Wave

In September 1997, I saw Agnès Varda introduce a brand-new 35 mm print of her first feature film, La Pointe Courte (made in 1954), to an admiring audience at Yale University. More astonishing than the luminous black-and-white images was Varda’s cl…

By Ginette Vincendeau


Explore

Agnès Varda

Writer, Director

The only female director of the French New Wave, Agnès Varda has been called both the movement’s mother and its grandmother. The fact that some have felt the need to assign her a specifically feminine role, and the confusion over how to characterize that role, speak to just how unique her place in this hallowed cinematic movement—defined by such decidedly masculine artists as Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut—is. Varda not only made films during the nouvelle vague, she helped inspire it. Her self-funded debut, the fiction-documentary hybrid 1956’s La Pointe Courte is often considered the unofficial first New Wave film; when she made it, she had no professional cinema training (her early work included painting, sculpting, and photojournalism). Though not widely seen, the film got her commissions to make several documentaries in the late fifties. In 1962, she released the seminal nouvelle vague film Cléo from 5 to 7; a bold character study that avoids psychologizing, it announced her official arrival. Over the coming decades, Varda became a force in art cinema, conceiving many of her films as political and feminist statements, and using a radical objectivity to create her unforgettable characters. She describes her style as cinécriture (writing on film), and it can be seen in formally audacious fictions like Le bonheur and Vagabond as well as more ragged and revealing autobiographical documentaries like The Gleaners and I and The Beaches of Agnès.