DVD Cinevardaphoto (DVD 6973344),
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  • NR
  • DVD
  • 1 disc
  • Region 1 USA/CA (info)
  • In this Agnes Varda-directed film, a collection of three of her shorts are combined. The shorts are SALUT LES CUBAINS from 1963, ULYSSES from 1982, and a new film called YDESSA, THE BEARS, AND ETC from 2004. Fascinating in the way that they show Varda's progression as a photographer and filmmaker, the films are artistic, personal, and moving. YDESSA, which is the first film in the trio, allows Varda to be a photography critic. She takes viewers to an art gallery in Munich where she analyzes an installation of found photographs by Ydessa Hendeles, a Canadian curator, eccentric, and teddy bear collector. With a shock of red-rinsed hair and a Goth fashion sense, Ydessa is a perfect subject for Varda to study on camera. Narrating with imaginative commentary and editing in bits of entertaining dialogue from Ydessa, she describes the project--which consists of thousands of photographs from 1930s Germany, each containing a teddy bear. The next segment, ULYSSES, deals with one of Varda's early photo compositions. It shows a man--Varda's former neighbor--standing naked on the beach, with a young boy seated next to him and a dead goat in the foreground. She recreates the photo in various ways, pulls it apart, examines it further, and then reaches for outside analysis. Interviews with the subjects, now older adults, lead nowhere. So she has children draw pictures of the photograph and feed them to a goat. Both introspective and amusing, ULYSSES reveals quaint details of Varda's experience as a young artist in Paris in the 1950s. The final short in CINEVARDAPHOTO is the whimsical SALUT LES CUBAINS. Varda stitches together still photographs of a trip she took to Cuba in the 1960s, drawing a vague yet festive story out of them.
  • Critic Reviews
    "[U]nutterably charming..."
    New York Times

    "What lights CINEVARDAPHOTO is Varda's ageless ability to merger her spirit with that of the images she shows us."
    Entertainment Weekly

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