Tongue-in-cheek look at the French Riviera, especially in summer when it overflows with tourists. Reviews its history and famous visitors; displays its faux-exotic buildings, its crowded beaches, its trees and monuments; and, pokes fun at the colors women wear and the vagaries of fashion. The film celebrates the use of "Eden" as a place name, suggesting that paradise comes to the coast after all are gone, perhaps only on a remote island beach. Written by
The same Criterion disc featuring the 1965 masterpiece "Le Bonheur" also features a copy of Varda's sarcastic 1958 travelogue Du côté de la côte, a 25-minute portraits of the Côte d'Azur mixing beautiful color footage of Cannes, Nice, etc with witty and sometimes nasty narration/commentary by an unseen man and a woman that serves to condemn the shallow luxury of the place. A fascinating piece that deserves more attention in this director's great filmography, and an interesting work in the very French category of essayistic films that can on one level be read as "serious" (travel documentary) but on another as a deconstruction of the same subject.
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