Marceline Loridan-Ivens may be best known for her scene-stealing participation in Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin's cinema verité classic, Chronicle of a Summer (1961). However, as FQ contributing editor Joan Dupont makes manifestly clear in her evocative appreciation, Loridan-Ivens was a true force of nature; an actress, director, and writer who remained creatively active and productive throughout her long life. She was also a Holocaust survivor, who returned to her experiences in the camps through her writing and filmmaking but found a way for her trauma to coexist with an irrepressible zest for life. Through interviews with over eight of Loridan-Ivens closest friends and family members, Dupont creates a multiperspectival portrait of Loridan-Ivens, including her years of close collaboration with her life partner, director Joris Ivens.
In this wide-ranging yet intimate interview, the iconic French filmmaker Agnès Varda reflects on her career over tea with Film Quarterly contributing editor Joan Dupont. Varda discusses the themes of feminism and freedom that unite her films, from Le bonheur (1965) to Vagabond (1985) along with her enduring interest in sharing the stories of others, as she did most recently in collaboration with the visual artist JR in Faces Places (2017). Over the course of several conversations, Varda shares insights into her methods and obsessions, her enduring vision and constant reinventions.
Critic Joan Dupont went in search of filmmaker Nelly Kaplan, whom she had met at an awards ceremony in Paris over a decade ago. She was famous for one film, La Fiancée du Pirate ( A Very Curious Girl , 1969), which had taken France and the international world of women's film festivals by storm. She had slipped out of sight; nobody seemed to know where she was or why. At the Cinémathèque Française, there was only a kind of embarrassment when her name was mentioned and no plan to show her films. This past year has seen a resurgence of interest in the work of Kaplan, and the restoration and rerelease of some of her work by Lobster Films. Dupont met with Kaplan at her Paris apartment to discuss past, present, and future.