An affecting, gorgeously rendered cinematic love letter from Agnès Varda to her husband, the great The Umbrellas of Cherbourg director Jacques Demy.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2019
“Made in collaboration with Varda’s husband Jacques Demy [director of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and The Young Girls of Rochefort] in the last year of his life, Jacquot de Nantes was the first of the director’s cinematic tributes to her longtime partner... With great affection and detail, Varda crafts a docudrama retelling of Demy’s childhood, focusing on his successive creative interests (from puppet shows to theatre to, finally, cinema) and pointing out episodes that would serve as sources of inspiration for his future films; interspersed throughout these biographical recreations is the present-day Demy himself, whether providing narration for onscreen events or simply being filmed by Varda in adoring close-up. With Varda putting her inimitable cinematic personality (her focus on the everyday, her energy and easy charm) selflessly in the service of her partner, Jacquot is a film of an artist and her muse.” — Toronto International Film Festival
“Filmed in predominantly black and white… Lovingly shot at the actual house Demy grew up in, this lyrical, attentive portrait of an artist’s conception and grounding makes for fascinating viewing.” — Mark Salisbury, Empire
“‘The film was shot exactly where Jacques Demy spent his childhood,’ Varda says, ‘in the garage of his father and in other places where, later, he was to film sequences.’ He wrote the story line by telling his memories to Agnes. But he refused to write the screenplay or dialogue because he wanted it to be her film. His health was failing through 1990, but he was able to visit the location, to appear in a few scenes, to see most of the rushes before he died in October, 1990. And now here is Jacquot, a love film, a film a woman has made about the memories of the man she lived with for 33 years, as she imagines them.” — Roger Ebert