France / 1958
17 min. / 35 mm / Original version with English subtitles
The margins of society, down-and-outs living on the street, and other eccentric existences also form the focus of Varda’s subjective documentary L’OPÉRA-MOUFFE. Structured by intertitles, without dialogue, with songs in voiceover, and music by Georges Delerue, she shows the market in Rue Mouffetard in Paris from the point of view of a pregnant woman, who is she herself. She combines her observations with staged love scenes and the projections and fears of a pregnant woman. Little separates sadness and cheerfulness, misfortune and paradise here.
France, UK / 1985
105 min. / 35 mm / Original version with English subtitles
Narrated in fragmentary fashion and inspired by a newspaper article, this film begins by showing how it will end: with the frozen corpse of a young woman in a ditch, somewhere in southern France; the cold is photographed in such a way that you can almost feel it. Flashbacks then follow the traces left behind by the down-and-out Mona (Sandrine Bonnaire), as the film attempts to reconstruct the last weeks of her life based on the testimonies of those who crossed her path. But creating a portrait of Mona is impossible: the brusque vagabond has turned her back on society in radical fashion to live in absolute freedom, without money, without a roof over her head, without compromise. She wants neither contact nor help, gives no explanations, rejects everyone and everything. All she does is keep going, without a destination, until she doesn’t. (bik)