November 15: Le Bonheur

Thursday, November 15 | 8PM Le Bonheur aka Happiness France 1965 d. Agnès Varda with Jean-Claude Drouot, Claire Drouot and Marie-France Boyer. In French with English subtitles. Black and white. 80 m

“Few films have inspired as many wildly differing interpretations in the decades since their release as Agnès Varda’s 1964 Le bonheur (Happiness). Is it a pastoral? A social satire? A slap-down of de Gaulle–style family values? A lyrical evocation of open marriage? Is the central character a good husband who knows how to enjoy life, a psychopath, a cad, or an unreal cardboard construction? Are the implications of the film’s title ironic or sincere? And, indeed, what is happiness?”  Amy Taubin

“Varda fills her frames with riots of nature and color, like Bonnard paintings come to life, and with an erotic intimacy to match, choreographing physical passion with unabashed but formally controlled delight. She also brings abstract forces into view with tactile vigor, offering a sensual sociology of family and workplace rituals. Meanwhile, her witty visual allusions to films by her male New Wave contemporaries serve as both tributes and critiques.”  Richard Brody

Links:  IMDB  Wikipedia

See Also:  Lola (Demy, 1961), A Married Woman (Godard, 1964), The Soft Skin (Truffaut, 1964)