Follow the story of a couple who goes to a small French fishing village to try to solve the problems of their deteriorating marriage.Follow the story of a couple who goes to a small French fishing village to try to solve the problems of their deteriorating marriage.Follow the story of a couple who goes to a small French fishing village to try to solve the problems of their deteriorating marriage.
A young (24) Philippe Noiret plays a native of the village who returns from Paris after many years for a short vacation. Heretofore, I was familiar with Noiret only with some of his much later films. Silvia Monfort, with whom I was previously unfamiliar, and who had one of the most unusual faces I've seen on film, plays the disillusioned Parisian wife who joins him five days later to discuss their marriage.
What's interesting about this film are its two intertwining parts. One part, shot in a familiar narrative style, concerns the everyday life and concerns of the villagers. The other part depicts the conversations of the couple in an artistic style full of fascinating images and interesting camera angles, a style which takes full advantage of Varda's photographer's eye. (Varda used three different cinematographers on this shoot, but I don't know which of them photographed which scenes.)
Varda chose the location for the film after a visit there for an assignment as a still photographer. What I liked best about the part involving just the couple were the slow pans of the environments, almost as if Varda were trying to capture the characters' surroundings in a series of stills. On the other hand, I found somewhat disturbing the obtrusive soundtrack of a clarinet, which went counter to the notion that a soundtrack is supposed to enhance the mood of the scene, not play against it as I found this to do. Perhaps that is part of what accounts for this being credited as a New Wave film.
- Jan 6, 2014