Agnès Varda’s tender evocation of the childhood of her husband, Jacques Demy—a dream project of his that she realized when he became too ill to direct the film himself—is a wonder-filled portrait of the artist as a young man and an enchanting ode to the magic of cinema. Shot in Demy’s hometown of Nantes (including the house he grew up in), this imaginative blend of narrative and documentary traces his coming of age amid the tumult of World War II as he finds escape in a universe of puppet shows, fairy tales, opera, and, above all, movies—the formative aesthetic experiences that would fuel his vivid Technicolor imagination and find unforgettable expression in his exuberant New Wave masterworks. Interspersed with intimate footage of the older Demy reflecting on his life’s journey, Jacquot de Nantes is a poignant love letter from one visionary artist to another.
With his lush and sensual visuals, pitch-perfect soundtracks, and soulful romanticism, Wong Kar Wai has established himself as one of the defining auteurs of contemporary cinema.
Four charming comedies from Eric Rohmer.
Melvin Van Peebles’s edgy, angsty, romantic first feature could never have been made in America. Unable to break into a segregated Hollywood, Van Peebles decamped to France, taught himself the language, and wrote a number of books in French, one of which, La permission, would become his stylistically innovative feature debut.
Melvin Van Peebles
DCP, Blu-ray, DVD
A triumph at the 2020 Berlin International Film Festival, the revelatory debut feature from codirectors (and twin brothers) Arie and Chuko Esiri is a heartrending and hopeful portrait of everyday human endurance in Lagos, Nigeria.