La Pointe Courte

La Pointe Courte
Directed by Agnès Varda
Written by Agnès Varda
Starring Silvia Monfort
Philippe Noiret
Music by Pierre Barbaud
Cinematography Paul Soulignac
Louis Stein
Edited by Alain Resnais
Release dates
Running time
86 min
Country France
Language French
Budget $14,000

La Pointe Courte is a 1955 French drama film directed by Agnès Varda. The film was Varda's debut, and has been cited by many critics as a forerunner of the French New Wave. The film takes place in Sète (south of France), la pointe courte is a tiny quarter of the town known as the fisherman's village.


A young man (Philippe Noiret) arrives at a train station to see his wife. After four years of marriage the couple are having problems of a somewhat existential nature—the wife loves her husband, but is thinking of leaving him (he had an affair some time back, but her problem is not jealousy so much as questioning the very nature of love itself). The couple discuss their lives, and become resigned to the fact that they belong together, even if their love has changed. They return to Paris, the wife now better understanding her husband's nature because she's seen his hometown. As this drama unfolds, we see the lives of the poor but proud people living there; fishermen wanting to harvest shellfish from a small lagoon they have been forbidden to use because of an alleged problem with bacteria, a small child dies of an unknown illness, a young man wins the right to court the 16-year-old daughter of a neighbor, after proving himself in a local aquatic jousting tournament.


Varda originally went to La Pointe Courte to take pictures for a friend who could no longer visit her home. After seeing the footage she took there, she rented a camera to shoot a film about a couple from Paris who were visiting La Pointe Courte, the husband's home town. Varda set up her own co-op and began production. The budget for the film was low budget costing $14,000; roughly one fourth the budget of other feature films of the era including The 400 Blows and Breathless. No members of the cast or crew were paid during the production.[1]


In a 1962 interview, Varda spoke of two present themes in the film with "the first being a couple reconsidering their relationship and a village that is trying to resolve several collective problems of survival".[2]


The Paris premiere of the film was in 1956 at the Studio Parnasse. It played with Jean Vigo's documentary film À propos de Nice (1930).[2]


  1. Neupert 2007, p.57
  2. 1 2 Neupert 2007, p.60


External links

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