“I’ll look at you, but not at the camera. It could be a trap,” whispers Jane Birkin shyly into Agnès Varda’s ear at the start of JANE B. PAR AGNÈS V. The director of CLEO FROM 5 TO 7 and VAGABOND once again paints a portrait of a woman, this time in a marvelously Expressionistic way. “It’s like an imaginary bio-pic,” says Varda. Jane, of course, is the famed singer (“Je t’aime … Moi non plus”), actress (BLOW UP), fashion icon (the Hermes Birkin bag) and longtime muse to Serge Gainsbourg. As Varda implies, JANE B. PAR AGNÈS V. abandons the traditional bio-pic format, favoring instead a freewheeling mix of gorgeous and unexpected fantasy sequences.
Newly-restored from the original 35mm camera negative, overseen by director Varda herself.
A lovely, bittersweet companion piece to JANE B. PAR AGNÈS V., KUNG-FU MASTER! has nothing to do with martial arts – the film’s title comes from an arcade video game played obsessively in the film by a teenaged boy, Julien (played by Varda’s real-life son with husband Jaques Demy). Jane Birkin delivers one of her finest performances as a lonely 40-year old woman who finds herself falling in love with the 14-year old Julien – but is it romance, or a desperate attempt to turn back time in the face of middle age? A real family affair, Birkin’s daughters, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Lou Doillon, her child with well-known filmmaker Jacques Doillon, also appear in the film.
Long unavailable in the US, the film has been newly-restored from the original 35mm camera negative.