In his book “The Judgment of Paris,” art historian Ross King
points out that in the 1860s, France’s most esteemed artist was a man named Ernest Meissonier, a celebrated painter of horses and military tableaux whom few recall today. By contrast, many of the Impressionists whose genius we now celebrate were not properly recognized until after their deaths.
It’s a lesson worth remembering when thinking about contemporary cinema, in which pop entertainment earns instant praise, while the work most likely to endure a century from now a century from now goes relatively unrecognized in its time. French director Agnès Varda
is the kind of filmmaker whose oeuvre is sure to stand the test of time — because it already has, holding up brilliantly since her 1955 feature debut, “La Pointe Courte,” about which Variety condescendingly wrote, “Main aspect of this film is that it was made for $20,000 by a 25-year-old girl.”
With her tiny seaside romance,