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Daguerreotypes (1975)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 21 December 2019 (Japan)
Portraits of the people that occupy the small shops of the Rue Daguerre, Paris, where the filmmaker lived.

Director:

Agnès Varda

Writer:

Agnès Varda
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Cast

Credited cast:
Lucien Bossy Lucien Bossy ... Self
Leance Debrossian Leance Debrossian ... Self
Marcelle Debrossian Marcelle Debrossian ... Self
Robert François Robert François ... Mystag, le magicien (as Mystag)
Jean Guillard Jean Guillard ... Self
Thibaud Jean Thibaud Jean ... Self
Boukraa Mustapha Boukraa Mustapha ... Self
Henri Piednoir Henri Piednoir ... Self
Maria Piednoir Maria Piednoir ... Self
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Storyline

Portraits of the people that occupy the small shops of the Rue Daguerre, Paris, where the filmmaker lived.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 2005, Varda made a 22 minute short revisiting the same street to see how things might have changed in 3 decades.The same grocer was still there, and the accordion shop had been repainted a different color. See more »

Crazy Credits

The title is given as an acrostic over the single page of credits, each letter of the title using one letter of each person in the credits, beginning with the D in Agnès Varda. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Beaches of Agnès (2008) See more »

User Reviews

Photographs of life
7 February 2015 | by chaos-rampantSee all my reviews

The first thing I appreciate here is that Varda went out with a camera and filmed her own neighborhood, looked for insight right outside her door. How richer would our lives be (and looking back, the cachet of images that convey the past) if more filmmakers were alert to their surroundings, looked for insight in the present?

She finds an ordinary life of course; visits middle-aged bakers, butchers, perfume sellers in their shops, observes the coming and going. There are no young people interviewed, so this emerges as the chronicle of a generation, Varda's own; the generation who were kids or teenagers during WWII and came to the big city right after from some village in the countryside. The street is Rue Dageurre, after the pioneer of early photography. It's photographs of life that we get. Our reward is that ordinary insight of photographs.

The best photographs are spontaneous, offering a sense that lingers. The sense here is bittersweetness that the journey has come to a stop there in that street, that this is a last station. They recount stories of how they fell in love with a fondness as if stirring the young lover they were. Asked about dreams they see, most dream that they're back in the shops they run during the day, a few dream about romance. The saddest of these neighbors is the old wife of the perfume seller who absently sits around the shop all day, not fully there in mind. The most poignant thing, in the evenings she's seized by some inexplicable urge to go out the door as if something calls for her, some journey left incomplete. She never ventures past the door.

This sense so placidly evoked lingered with me all day and the next; how we're caught between a life we build as loving shelter and the urge to step out the door in the evenings. The soul calls for both, both require mindful cultivation; going out in search of aimless pleasure must be only the unmindful way to do it, the artless way. Varda it seems strove to make herself a gift of that life that is mindfully present, cultivate it; a film like this is the seed that invites the care required to bloom.

The film is a small gesture of affectionate presence, closeness. Sad, and not. Its place may not be in a list of lifechanging works. But it can deepen you the same way a small gesture like stroking a loved one's hair deepens love.

(Ideally you'll see this after Varda's Le Bonheur, one of the most masterful films I know. The couple there could be among the ones here, grown to be 50 together in the same home; consider this an addendum. The same question emerges. Is this happiness? What is this mind that wonders?)


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Details

Country:

France | West Germany

Language:

French

Release Date:

21 December 2019 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Daguerreotypes See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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