Agnès VardaWest Germany / France80 minutes1976ColourFrench
Due to unforeseen circumstances, Julia Cooper will no longer be in attendance at our March 27 screening of Daguerréotypes. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Its title simultaneously invoking Varda's passion for photography while mischievously playing on the name of the Paris street on which she lives (rue Daguerre), the director's first feature-length documentary is an affectionate portrait of the shops and shopkeepers in her neighbourhood. (In The Beaches of Agnès, Varda reveals that the entire film was shot within 90 metres of her home to accommodate the length of the camera cable, which she ran through her mail slot.) Interviews with the largely rural-born merchants evoke the image of a small town nestled within the city, while shots of the cramped interiors of the businesses showcase Varda's preoccupation with commonplace objects: bottles of all shapes and sizes crowd the dusty shelves of a perfumery, loaves of bread line the wall of a bakery, faces poke out from behind stacked tins and cheeses. Suggestively interspersed with footage of a magic performance, Daguerréotypes is a captivating, nostalgic ode to the wondrous lurking within the ordinary.