LE BONHEUR (Agnès Varda, 1964)

We Vardanians adore Happiness.
     What a witheringly ironical opening, with the golden flowers in closeup wobbling in the breeze, unsettling the frames, the Mozart on the soundtrack seeming to mock the images, the perfectly happy family, the man and woman moving at a slow pace to accommodate their two toddlers in between, all of them out of focus! Thus does Agnès Varda announce her ironical intent from the get-go—but, as you may know, “critics” and the public at the time of its original release didn’t “get it” and castigated the film for being what they mistakenly took it to be. It took more than a decade for Varda to reestablish her feminist credentials with One Sings, the Other Doesn’t (1977), a film so prosaically straightforward even morons couldn’t mistake its intent. (And it, too, is a lovely film.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s