Close Up

18 August 2018: La pointe courte


La pointe courte

Agnès Varda
1955 | 86 min | B/W | Digital
French with English subtitles

“Varda’s first feature set the example for the New Wave by filming on location (in the port city of Sète) with a small crew and outside the French studio system. Other than the two leads actors (including a young Philippe Noiret), borrowed from the Théâtre National Populaire, La pointe courte stars local fishermen and their families playing versions of themselves, at that time a radical practice, and one which Varda would continue in future films. Loosely based on William Faulkner’s The Wild Palms, La pointe courte follows two storylines connected through their location: while a young couple whose marriage is on the brink of dissolution visit the husband’s childhood home, the local fishermen manage their day-to-day family lives, running afoul of government inspectors and celebrating their annual boating event. Relying on her remarkable eye – honed by her years as a still photographer – Varda crafts visuals whose arresting beauty and texture draw as much from Sète and the working life of the village as from the disappointed lovers.” – Harvard Film Archive

Part of our season on Agnès Varda