The Complete Films of Agnes Varda is the Pick of the Week

Criterion's mammoth box set of the work of the legendary Agnes Varda tops a new week of releases.
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A master filmmaker like the great Agnes Varda needs no introduction. When she passed away at the age of 90, she definitely left behind a very influential and eclectic body of work. She also left a huge gap in film that arugably no other filmmaker can fill. Not only she did pave the way for modern feminism in both French and global cinema, but she was the only female director of the French New Wave.

She was a pivotal director who made films on her own terms, with a unique verite style and realism including those of absolute documentaries and more relatively fictional outlooks on life. And Criterion, being the bearer of fantastic releases, complements Varda with a brand new box set that contains all of her fantastic oevure.

The works include:

Agnes Forever: Varda by Agnes (2019), Les 3 boutons (2015)

Early Varda: La Pointe Courte (1955), O saisons, o chateaux (1958), Du cote de la cote (Along the Coast) (1958)

Around Paris: Cleo from 5 to 7 (1962), Les finances du pont Macdonald (The Fiances of the Bride Mac Donald) (1962), L'opera-mouffe (Diary of Pregnant Woman) (1958), Les dites cariatides (The So-Called Caryatids) (1984), T'as de beaux escaliers, tu sais (You've Got Beautiful Stairs, You Know) (1986)

Rue Daguerre: Daguerreotypes (1975), Le lion volatil (2003)

Married Life: Le bonheur (1965), Les creatures (The Creatures) (1966), Elsa la Rose (1966)

In Calfornia: Uncle Yanco (1968), Black Panthers (1970), Lions Love (...and Lies) (1969), Mur Murs (Mural Murals) (1981), Documenteur (1981)

Her Body, Herself: One Sings, the Other Doesn't (1977), Reponse de femmes (Women Reply: Our Bodies, Our Sex) (1975), Plaisir d'amour en Iran (The Pleasure of Love in Iran) (1977)

No Shelter: Vagabond (1985), 7 p., cuis., s. de b., ... (a saisir) (1985)

Jane B: Jane B. par Agnes V. (Jane B. for Agnes V.) (1988), Kung-Fu Master! (1988)

Jacques Demy: (Varda's husband of 28 years and legenday director himself): Jacquit de Nantes (1991), The Young Girls Turn 25 (1993), The World of Jacques Demy (1995)

Simon Cinema: One Hundred and One Nights (1995)

La glaneuse: The Gleaners and I (2000), The Gleaners and I: Two Years Later (2002)

Visual Artist: Faces Places (2017), Salut les cubains (1964), Ulysse (1982); Ydess, les ours et etc.... (Ydessa, the Bears and etc.) (2004)

Here and There: Agnes de ci de la Varda (Agnes Varda: From Here to There) (2011) 

Beaches: The Beaches of Agnes (2008)

There are also many supplements including introductions by Varda; Nausicaa, a once-banned 1970 TV film by Varda; new programs featuring actress Jane Birkin, Varda's children, Mathieu Demy and Rosalie Varda, and scholar Kelley; segments directed by Varda from the 1983 French television program Une minute pour une image; programs on Varda’s work as a visual artist, including Quelques veuves de Noirmoutier, a 2006 television presentation of one of her installations; over seven hours of archival programs featuring Varda, many of them also directed by her; archival interviews and tributes featuring Varda’s friends, family, and key collaborators; rare footage from unfinished features and commercials; and behind-the-scenes footage, video essays, and trailers. There is also an incredible illustrated 200-page book, featuring notes on the films and essays on Varda’s life and work by writers Amy Taubin, Michael Koresky, Ginette Vincendeau, So Mayer, Alexandra Hidalgo, and Rebecca Bengal, as well as a selection of Varda’s photography and images of her installation art. 

By the looks of it, this collection should obviously be regarded as one of the best releases of the year. If you love the iconic Varda and her transfixing cinema, as well as film history in general, then this should be a true no-brainer for your home collection!

Other releases:

The Phantom of the Opera (Scream Factory): Terence Fisher's underrated 1962 version of the classic story starring Michael Gough as composer Lord Ambrose D'Arcy and Edward De Souza as his backer Harry Hunter, who are desperate to find a new leading lady for their opera. When new replacement Christine (Heather Sears) vanishes, Harry tries to find her. Eventually, she is found captive by a mysterious figure who wants to groom her for the part.

Tender Mercies: The great Robert Duvall stars as a very broken and middle-aged country singer who gets newly married, tries to reconnect with his long-lost daughter, and also tries to put his life back on track.

Diva: The acclaimed French thriller about a young mail carrier who becomes entranced by the voice of an American diva. She doesn't think that she is being recorded, but doesn't know that he is recording her. His tape gets accidentally mixed up with the mob, which makes him a target for death.

Cry Freedom: Kevin Kline stars in this true story of a South African journalist who is forced to flee the country after trying to look into the death of his activist friend (Denzel Washington).

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