Femme Film Fridays: Jane B. for Agnes V.
Texas Spirit Theater | NR | 97 min. | Biography, Fantasy
June 8, 2018 7:00pm - 9:15pm
Join the Bullock Museum for a screening and conversation about Jane B. for Agnes V.
In this surreal and captivating narrative-documenatry on art, fame, love and more, Jane Birkin and Agnes Varda explore the role of the Muse and the Artist.
Abandoning the traditional bio-pic format and favoring instead a mix of fantasy sequences, acclaimed director Agnes Varda, paints a portrait of a woman, Jane Birkin in Jane B. for Agnès V. Birkin 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. The theme of identity flows throughout as we see the impact aging has on a persona that was once encased in the favor of youth.
This screening is part of Femme Film Fridays, a film series highlighting the cinematic works of women, both behind and in front of the camera. Now in its second season, all the films for the 2017-2018 season address ideas of identity. This evening's program includes a film screening and Q&A with Assistant Professor of Art History at Texas State University, Dr. Jennifer Stob. Come early at 6pm for a welcome reception with cash bar.
Please note: Entrance for this screening will be at the IMAX Lobby doors.
Your ticket purchase supports the Bullock Museum's exhibitions and educational programming.
Suggested age: 18+
Starring: Jane Birkin, Jean-Pierre Léaud, Philippe Léotard, Farid Chopel, Alain Souchon, Serge Gainsbourg, Laura Betti, Monique Godard, Ian Marshall, Les enfants Tooke, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Mathieu Demy, James Millard, Pascale Torsat, Henri Piednoir, Agnès Varda
Writer/Director: Agnès Varda
Runtime: 97 min.
Language: French with English subtitles
Genre: Biography, Fantasy
Release year: 1988
"Jane B. par Agnès V. was a game that explored how we could be represented, and a touching way of presenting Jane Birkin with truth and imagination.” - Agnès Varda
For its first-ever U.S. theatrical release the film has been newly-restored (new 2K restoration) from the original 35mm camera negative, overseen by director Varda herself.
Agnès Varda is a prolific filmmaker and visual artist born in Brussels in 1928. With her four brothers and sisters, she spent her childhood in Belgium. In 1940, WWII pushed the family to Sète in the South of France, where she would return to produce and direct her first feature film. Varda studied art history in Paris at the École du Louvre and photography at the École des Beaux-Arts. She became the official photographer of Jean Vilar and the Théâtre National Populaire. While in Paris, she met her future husband Jacques Demy, a French filmmaker who passed away in 1990.
After founding Ciné-Tamaris, she produced and directed her first feature, La Pointe Courte (1954), which anticipated the stylistic tendencies of the French New Wave, earning her the title “Grandmother of the New Wave.” It starred Philippe Noiret and Silvia Monfort, both of whom would become critically-acclaimed French actors. 1954 was also the year of her first dedicated photography exhibition. Her best known works are: Cleo From 5 to 7, Le Bonheur, Sans Toit ni Loi, Jacquot de Nantes and The Gleaners and I, and Vagabond.
In 2002, Varda was the recipient of the prestigious French Academy prize, Prix René Clair, for her cinematographic work and, in 2009, she was given the highest French decoration: the National Order of the Legion of Honor. In 2008, Varda released her poetic autobiography, The Beaches of Agnes, to much acclaim. The film went on to win the César for Best Documentary in 2009. In December of 2011, her documentary series Agnes From Here to There aired as a five part series on ARTE France. Here, Varda liberally chronicled her travels and encounters with artists, both celebrated and undiscovered, engaging in conversations surrounding contemporary art.
In 2013, she was president of the jury Caméra d’or at the Cannes Film Festival. Also in 2013, her work was exhibited in “Agnès Varda in Californialand” at The Los Angeles County Museum of Modern Art with the installation My Shack of Cinema, made with 35mm film strips of the film Lions Love (...and Lies), accompanying a cinema retrospective. Sections excerpted from The European Graduate School.
Jane Birkin was born in London to David Birkin and actress Judy Campbell. She first went on stage at the age of 17, where she met composer John Barry. They married shortly afterwards, and their daughter Kate Barry was born in 1967.
At twenty, Jane attracted attention for her scandalous role in Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow-up, which won the grand prix at the Cannes Film Festival. In France, she auditioned to play opposite Serge Gainsbourg in Slogan. That was how their mythical love story began. They became inseparable, and a legendary couple after they recorded the album Je t ’aime moi non plus. Their daughter Charlotte was born in 1971.
Di Doo Dah, her first solo album, w as released in 1973. This same year she established herself as a leading film actress in J. Rouffio’s Sept morts sur ordonnance. She also played supporting roles in Claude Zidi’s popular comedies La moutarde me monte au nez and La course à l’échalotte.
In 1975, Serge and Jane were back with Je t’aime moi non plus, the film. Puritan France was again outraged & the critics panned the film, but Francois Truffaut raved about it, and it has since become a film legend.By 1983 Jane had left Serge and was living with filmmaker Jacques Doillon, with whom she had her third daughter Lou. Doillon and Bir kin’s collaboration, La Pirate, was the official French entry for the 1984 Cannes Film Festival. Directors Jacques Rivette, Agnès Varda, and Bertrand Tavernier were all impressed by Birkin’s performance. In 1985, she made her stage début in La Fausse suivante.
Devoted to her family and humanitarian work, she sang on behalf of Amnesty International, made a short film for the battle against AIDS, and another for Amnesty International among other efforts.She made her directorial debut with film Oh pardon tu dormais which she wrote and directed and, after her return to the theatre with “Electra” in November 2006, she directed her second film, Boxes. In 2008, Jane released “Enfants d’Hiver,” the first of her albums featuring lyrics exclusively written by herself.
Jennifer Stob is Assistant Professor of Art History at Texas State University. Her areas of specialization include French, transnational and experimental film, and she is finishing a manuscript on social space and the film theory of the Situationist International. She has published widely in anthologies and scholarly journals, most recently in Film Criticism. Jennifer co-programs Experimental Response Cinema, an Austin-based microcinema.
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