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La Pointe Courte (1955)

La Pointe-Courte (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 4 January 1956 (France)
1:01 | Trailer
Follow the story of a couple who goes to a small French fishing village to try to solve the problems of their deteriorating marriage.


Agnès Varda


Agnès Varda





Cast overview:
Philippe Noiret ... Lui
Silvia Monfort Silvia Monfort ... Elle
Marcel Jouet Marcel Jouet ... Raphäel Scotto
Albert Lubrano Albert Lubrano ... Albert Soldino
Anna Banegas Anna Banegas ... Anna Soldino
André Lubrano André Lubrano ... Dédé Soldino
Rossette Lubrano Rossette Lubrano ... La femme d'Albert


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 couple - He is from La Pointe Courte, she is Parisian - coming to terms with their changing relationship. Written by Alison Smith <mla22@cc.keele.ac.uk>

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Not Rated | See all certifications »

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This film is considered by many critics as the starting point of the French New Wave film movement. See more »


Featured in Women Make Film: A New Road Movie Through Cinema (2018) See more »

User Reviews

There is no new wave, there is only the ocean (Chabrol).
14 August 2010 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

Agnès Varda's career began by the seaside in a small fisher port near Sète and temporarily ended in 2009 with "Les Plages D'Agnès" (Agnès' Beaches). Her debut was a commercial fiasco, only one theater in Paris showed it when it was released (Jean Louis Chéret, Studio-Parnasse).

The part of the man was first intended for George Wilson but he became ill and Philippe Noiret replaced him. This actor didn't like his performance, he thought he was too young (26) and the choice of Wilson was relevant (34). He said he was absent and the character eluded him. The critics thrashed him.

Hailed as the first movie of the Nouvelle Vague, the movie owes at least as much to Italian Neo-realism (Rossellini's "Viaggio In Italia" which depicted a couple's trip whose marriage was on the rocks and Visconti's "La Terra Trema" which dealt with the plight of the fishermen in a small village).

What is definitely "Nouvelle Vague" is the shoestring budget (four times less than "Breathless") and the literary, intellectual, "overwritten" dialogs which seem today almost unbearable; this bourgeois couple complaining about their heartaches, contemplating their navels, walks through the crowd as if the inhabitants of the village didn't exist. They don't relate to them: the only move the man makes is to give an ice-cream to a child. That's not much for someone who spent his whole childhood in the place. Filming on location wasn't the Nouvelle Vague's invention as too many naive people still believe today; for the record "l'Hirondelle Et La Mésange" was filmed entirely on location in...1928.

The depiction of the village wanders drastically from the precepts of the Nouvelle Vague busy being born but recalls the two Italian works mentioned above. We feel that Varda cares for them even if her two principals don't. She cares for their problems with the food hygiene people or with the coastguards'. She feels for Raphaël the young man to be jailed for five days as the gendarmes do for him. We learn he is an Inscrit Maritime (that was the name of the conscripts who lived on the seaside) and he is to do his military service: even if Varda doesn't mention it, we do know he'll have to fight in a dirty war (the Algeria war), like Antoine in "Cleo De 5 à 7".

I don't think like the precedent user that Varda's debut was her best. Actually "Cléo..." is much better. There are similarities between the two works: both Cléo and the couple move in a world they can't relate to. But the key to the 1961 effort is the fact that Cléo opens up and thanks to a soldier soon returning to fight becomes aware that people exist outside her petty world. When she takes her glasses off, what a symbol! But for the man and the woman of "La Pointe Courte" (The Short Headland) -they are only referred through this, bearing no names- they will stay with their inflated egos, their selfishness.

"They are always talking, they mustn't be happy" says a fisher's wife.

The short headland was a blind alley.

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Release Date:

4 January 1956 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

La Pointe Courte See more »

Filming Locations:

Sète, Hérault, France


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Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

Ciné-tamaris See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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