OTB#41: Sans toit ni loi

I watched this back in 2015, but now I’ve got a 2K version of it, so I’m watching it again.

So this starts with a dead woman, and is being presented as an investigation into her life and how she ended up in that ditch.

Varda is more known for her documentaries these days than her films, and this is a kind of hybrid thing. That is, it’s perhaps the most conventional of her films I’ve seen — traditionally filmed and edited, without any major flourishes…

… except for using obvious non-professional actors and dialogue that’s not exactly naturalistic.

Should she be wearing her leather jacket while washing cars?

Anyway, the movie is about a pretty, young woman, wearing kinda cool clothes, who has no obvious problems, who’s a drifter in the French countryside. So the mystery is, of course: Why has she chosen this (hard) life?


You’d think in a film like this it’d be just one bad thing after another — but no, she encounters a lot of people, and most of them are pretty decent towards her? She’s not a druggie either, and doesn’t seem to have any particular trauma… She’s a rebel without a clue?

Fluffy cow!

Of course people in France giving blood get wine!

The movie loses focus after a while — we kinda get more into other people’s reactions to the vagabond than anything else. It’s a bit like Varda didn’t quite know how to follow up on the initial impetus — instead she starts devoting time to people who are sort of standins for herself: People around the vagabond who are wondering what’s going on with the vagabond?

Man, they have some odd traditions in France…

Ah yeah… I can see how this connects with Wes Anderson and Atom Egoyan…

That’s Egoyan’s list — he has a perfect score here (only films that are on the lists). All good films, really, but not very adventurous.

Wes Anderson, on the other hand, has only four films that are on the S&S lists. Hm… Clouzot? Lots of old/French stuff…

Anyway, this movie is very good, but I think I liked it better the first time I watched it? This time around, it just seemed aimless in a not very good way. But still:

Vagabond. Agnès Varda. 1985.

This blog post is part of the Officially The Best 2022 series.

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