5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 92656
The Cinema According to Agnès Varda
1965, 85 minutes, color, 35mm | Written and directed by Agnès Varda; with Jean-Claude Drouot, Claire Drouot, and Marie-France Boyer
Agnès Varda’s follow-up to her breakthrough Cléo From 5 to 7 is an equally masterful though more enigmatic portrait of self-transformation and the bearing of time. Though married to a cheerful dressmaker and the mother of his two young children, carpenter François finds himself flirting unabashedly with a gamine postal clerk. Mozart meets Brigitte Bardot in Varda’s lyrical ode to the pleasures and snares of modern suburban life as the serenity of François’s postcard-perfect nuclear family is jeopardized by his actions. Released not too long after Jacques Demy’s The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and Jean-Luc Godard’s A Married Woman, Varda’s film echoes the vibrant color palette and heartrending plot twists of the former and the minimalist, coital tableaux vivants of the latter. One of Varda’s most pictorially perfect films, Le Bonheur offers a progressively darker narrative in glorious sunlight.