Digital Restoration

Shot along a few short blocks of the rue Daguerre, where Varda made her home for decades, Daguerréotypes is a playful and affectionate portrait of a thoroughly Parisian neighborhood, and an homage of sorts to the pioneering photographer who was the street’s namesake. In 1975, having recently given birth, Varda wanted to stay close to home, but not to stop filming. So she created what she called “cinema-next-door,” using a camera tethered to her apartment by an extension cord. The film focuses on the street’s shopkeepers, presenting them as “types”—butcher and baker, laundress and tailor, sellers of perfumes, accordions, and clocks—but also as individuals who speak to the camera of their origins and dreams. The editing is whimsical, pointed, and punning: a magician’s performance at the corner cafe is intercut with shots of people at work to form a kind of running commentary, revealing the mystery and art of quotidian commerce.

Juliet Clark
  • Agnès Varda
  • Nurith Aviv
  • William Lubtchansky
  • French
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • Color
  • DCP
  • 80 mins
  • Janus Films