Film - Feature | February 14 | 5 p.m. | Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
In this strikingly colorful, lyrical film, Varda contemplates happiness. François, a carpenter, is happy with his wife; he is happier still when he takes a mistress. For him it is not a question of loving one or the other; he loves both, and wants them to share a life together. This triangular relationship is examined within a circular structure. The film begins and ends with blissful family picnicsonly the women have changed. These pastoral scenes, filmed in soft focus and muted colors, are evocative of Renoirs paintings. The allusion to Impressionism seems deliberate, for the film quietly criticizes Françoiss personal absorption. In his pursuit of happiness, he doesnt look beyond his own needs and desires, and never imagines that there may be a cost for living for the moment. Without moralizing or providing psychological explanation, Vardas depiction raises the essentially philosophical question, Is this happiness?
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