A subtitle warns, "Beware of dark sunglasses." Anna and her lover, whose looks in bowler and bow tie are reminiscent of a young Buster Keaton, kiss chastely on a bridge overlooking the ...
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There are two parts to this film: sequences of life in the fishing village of La Pointe Courte (a government inspector's visit, the death of a child) alternate with others following a ... See full summary »
A subtitle warns, "Beware of dark sunglasses." Anna and her lover, whose looks in bowler and bow tie are reminiscent of a young Buster Keaton, kiss chastely on a bridge overlooking the Seine. He dons sunglasses and waves as she runs down a stairway to the river's edge, then watches in horror as she's knocked flat and loaded into the back of a hearse. In vain, he gives chase. Disconsolate, he buys a large funeral wreath and a handkerchief from sympathetic vendors. He removes the glasses to wipe his eyes and realizes they are the cause of all his woe. He replays the farewell without the glasses. Written by
Filmed by Varda at the height of Nouvelle Vague's very short period of success with both critics and audiences, this short is a black and white silent comedy -- incorporated, in a slightly different version, in Varda's first feature "Cléo de 5 à 7" (1962) -- whose major interest today is the presence of a young Jean-Luc Godard (post-Breathless) as the protagonist. Emulating Buster Keaton's deadpan face and Harold Lloyd's fancy-clothed bespectacled romantic, Godard loves, disputes and saves his lovely fiancée, played by his then wife and muse Anna Karina (in a blond wig), and discovers that his somber vision of people and the world may very well be caused by his constant use of...dark-lensed glasses!
Varda tells us in her DVD introduction to this short that she wanted to show her friend Godard's beautiful, sad Buster Keaton eyes, always hidden behind his thick shades in everyday life. And she reveals to us what we've always suspected about JLG: that coupled with that genius wit, robotic voice and viperous lisping tongue there was a pair of sensitive, sad, soulful eyes. The short feels today like a heart-warming photograph of complex people allowing themselves to be slaphappy for a moment (even Eddie Constantine smiles!) and proves Varda's very special talent for capturing people's warmth and life-affirming vocation.
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