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Monday, July 01, 2013

Vagabond (1985) d. Agnès Varda

Agnès Varda

Movie Review
Vagabond (1985)
d. Agnès Varda
Criterion Collection #74

  Vagabond is not a "fun" watch.  It starts out with the Vagabond in question dead, frozen to death in a ditch so you get to watch the entire movie wondering "is this THE ditch where she dies, or just another ditch that this poor young woman has to trek through in the faceless French landscape.

 Agnès Varda also directed Cleo From 5 to 7, which was released in 1962 and Vagabond is conclusive prove that Varda did not lose the plot Francis Ford Coppola in the 90s style.
 Agnès Varda

  Sometimes I watch these Criterion Collection titles and read the accompanying essay at the Criterion Collection site and I'm tempted to simply provide the link and leave it at that because the essay is so good.  I wish there was a comparable site for the 1001 Books To Read Before You Die, but of course that series doesn't make critical editions, or editions at all, it's just a list.

  Varda had a back ground in photojournalism and documentary film when she made Cleo From 5 to 7 and if you look at her IMDB Director credits the documentaries and shorts overwhelm the features.

  The more titles I watch out of the Criterion Collection, the more I appreciate the revolutionary ramifications of the collaboration between streaming film and the appreciation of the history of cinema.  In 2013, we take for granted that all music from all time should be available for free instantly, but when it comes to film that is simply not true.  It's certainly not available for free, if it's available at all.  The very existence of the Criterion Collection essentially demonstrates the flaws in the existing system for distributing film art, so it's natural that bringing the Criterion Collection to streaming video via Hulu Plus would represent the correction of those flaws.

 And it does.  One of the major reasons I don't like films as much as novels is because the good ones are hard to find and often expensive to watch.  Criterion Collection on Hulu Plus solves that, instantly, for eight bucks a month.  For me, just trying to sit still and watch reality television with someone is enough to drive me batty.  I have to mentally restrain myself from leaving the room.  If you're going to suffer through that experience, why not make it a classic movie instead? Bad Girls Club Atlanta and Vagabond: They both make me super uncomfortable, but I feel better at the end of Vagabond.

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