Les Fiances du Pont Mac Donald (Agnes Varda, 1961): France

Reviewed by Byron Potau. Viewed on DVD.

Les Fiances du Pont Mac Donald

Utilizing a silent film style, Agnes Varda’s silent short film Les Fiances du Pont Mac Donald is a charming French New Wave piece that makes use of both Parisian locations, the cast of Band of Outsiders and its director and, most importantly, his sunglasses.

A man (Jean-Luc Godard) waves goodbye to his beloved (Anna Karina) on a bridge over the Seine. When he puts on his sunglasses he sees his beloved have an accident and is carried off in a hearse. Saddened, he takes his sunglasses of to wipe his tears and realizes that his sunglasses made everything appear dark and it was not his girl that was in the unfortunate accident. When she does have a similar accident the man runs to the rescue and drags his girl away before the ambulance can take her. Then he throws away the sunglasses that caused all of the trouble in the first place.

A very brief but pleasant little short film that on its own is cute, but when considering the talents involved becomes much more fascinating. Godard performs well in front of the camera as does Anna Karina as the kewpie doll girlfriend. Sami Frey and Jean-Claude Brialy also make brief appearances.

Director Varda does a great job of emulating the silent film era with the actors moving in fast speed, silent era costumes, and the silent era type gags with the water hose.

I have seen it included on the DVD’s for Varda’s Cleo from 5 to 7 and Godard’s Band of Outsiders. Either way it is worth checking out.

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