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4 By Agnes Varda

Corinne Marchand , Antoine Bourseiller , Agnès Varda , Kang-cheon Lee    Unrated   DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Boxed Set Ever Sept. 29 2013
By Tyeve
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Criterion has outdone themselves with this wonderful collection of four of Agnes Varda's films. The transfers are near-miraculous, as you would expect from Criterion. But, what really sets this... set apart are the details.

Let's start with the box itself. The matte finish, fonts, photos are beautifully wrought. Take a peek inside the box and you'll find photos reproduced on the INSIDE, where you can only get a peek at them. Each DVD case is similarly wonderful.

The written material is a thoughtful introduction to and examination of Varda's oeuvre. The special features included on each disc are great complements to the films themselves.

And speaking of the films themselves... That's what it's all about. Varda would be a cinematic master just with "Cleo de 5 a 7", the greatest real-time movie of all time. Just to have that is worth the price of the set. But, you also get three more of her works, each one a joy to watch.

Five stars all the way.
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Two new Criterion DVD's, two rereleases March 8 2008
By Ted - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This 4 disc box set by Criterion contains four movies by Agnès Varda.

La Pointe Courte, Cleo from 5 to 7, Le bonheur, and Vagabond. Cléo from 5 to 7 and vagabond are releleases and I have already written reviews for those when they were released separately, I will be more brief on the reviews.

La Pointe Courte is Varda's first film and is about a couple in coastal southern France experiencing marital woes. The film is thought to have inspired the new wave movement in French cinema and is one of her most popular films. The special features are an interview with Agnès Varda and scenes from a 1964 French television appearance by Varda.

Cléo from 5 to 7 is about a young woman who strolls around Paris for two hours while she awaits the results of a biopsy. The film was way ahead of its time for it being in real-time just like the television series 24 or the film "Phone Booth."
The special features are a theatrical trailer, a 2005 documentary on the film's production titled "Remembrances" It focuses on continuity isues for the real-time sequence fo the film including the clocks which are seen various times in the film, a slide show of Hans Baldung paintings which inspired the title character of the film, a 1993 television special featuring Agnès Varda and Madonna, a short retracing Cléo's trip through Paris on motorcycle, the 1961 short by Varda titled "Les fiancés du pont Macdonald" which was featured in the film, and Varda's short film "L'opéra Mouffe".

Le bonheur (French for "Happiness") is about a young couple with two children. The wife travels often and while she is away her husband has an affair with a postal clerk.
The special features are a theatrical trailer, a look at the two main actresses in the film, a talk between four film scholars about the film, two short films where Varda asks random people their definition of happiness, a retrospective on the film featuring lead actor Jean-Claude Drouot, scenes from an archival television program featuring Varda shooting the film, a 1988 interview with Varda, and a documentary by Varda about the Côte d'Azur.

Vagabond released in France as "Sans toit ni loi" is about a homeless woman who is found dead at the beginning of the film and is a flashback look at the last days of her life.
The special features are a theatrical trailer, a docomentary on the film's production, a look at the actress Marthe Jarnias, who plays the old lady in the film, a conversation between Varda and the film's composer, Joanna Bruzdowicz, and a 1986 radio interview with Varda and writer, Nathalie Sarraute.

This is a great release and the films are all excellent.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Paris: A woman's view, a woman's film Jan. 17 2012
By Dr René Codoni - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Cléo de cinq à sept (Agnès Varda, 1962)

After Jacques Demy's Lola, his wife's Agnès Varda's Cléo de cinq à sept (1962), is the second Nouvelle Vague Rive gauche (Left Bank of the Seine River) production review, to be followed by Alain Resnais' La guerre est finie (1966), and finally short films by Rive gauche auteurs (Marker, Varda and Resnais).

There is a famous production shot of Cléo: The heroine on a bed in her studio, attended by about twelve men (technicians und beauticians at all levels), behind her Agnès Varda at the camera. So what appears as a first woman's movie is actually still in the man's world of the movies, where women are just the stars. I do not remember how women's lib reacted to it, but it remains an amazing film, and Agnès Varda, a very feminine figure, an exception to the rule. It also gives us a view of pre-1968 Paris, and is a deeply personal, never voyeuristic event.

Cléo, in a way like High Noon, the Western (Fred Zinnemann, 1952), is a real time movie, from five to seven. The lead, intelligently played by beautiful Corinne Marchand, is a singer who, this late afternoon, in understandable anxiety, awaits her specialist doctor's verdict on a detailed cancer test. With her servant and a friend, she runs various errands to kill time, visits a fortune teller, and, finally, is on her walk through Paris towards the hospital to collect the doctor's verdict. She is accompanied by a soldier on leave from the Algerian war, a chance meeting. The doctor's verdict is clear, but he sees considerable chances to heal by treatment.

What Jacques Demy's Lola (1962) addressed in a lighter form is here a more explicit, quasi an urban form of existentialism, with the themes of self-obsession (hence the many mirrors), mortality, despair. The film has a strong feminine viewpoint, asking how women are perceived. Cléo finds herself questioning the doll-like image people have of her, and is overcome by a feeling of isolation from her nearest. It is typically only in the company of a stranger - a soldier, who is regularly exposed to death - that she is able to have a sincere conversation that eventually put her problems in perspective.

The film includes a short silent slapstick strip with cameos by Jean-Luc Godard, Anna Karina, Eddie Constantine and Jean-Claude Brialy as characters. While full of cinematographic quotes - like Lumière's L'arroseur arose - it reminds you of the dream sequence insets in Ingmar Bergman's Wild Strawberries (1958). Most unusual, but fitting very well into the wider Dance des morts-motif of the film.

52-18/1/2012
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 by Agnes Varda Feb. 9 2011
By aac27625 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This Criterion Collection includes great essays about Agnes Varda's work and the films are superb, specially "Cleo from 5 to 7" and "Vagabond".
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic box June 21 2008
By MarkusG - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
If You like Varda, or the french new wave, or french film, then this box is well worth buying. My favourite films of the four are Cleo and Le Bonheur. Lots of extra material, and the box is well designed.
5.0 out of 5 stars PERFECT AND CLASSIC BOXSET. April 7 2013
By HAN XIAO - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
PERFECT AND CLASSIC BOXSET. I GUESS BUYING THIS WILL TRULY BE AN HONOR TO SOMEONE WHO LOVES FILMS AND COLLECTING THEM.
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