In Jacquot de Nantes, Varda recreates her husband Jacques Demy’s coming-of-age in the west of France, its events taken directly from Demy’s own childhood recollections, written down while he was growing weaker from AIDS-related illness. Varda honors the sharp emotional detail that reawakened her husband’s memories: his tender family life, based around his father’s garage; an early love of puppet shows that blossomed into serious cinephilia; the onset of World War II that ruptured his town and catalyzed his loss of innocence. Demy would pass away only 10 days after she wrapped shooting on this story of artistic awakening. Cued by bursts of vivid color amid nostalgic black-and-white, and interweaving close-ups of Demy in the present, Jacquot immortalizes Demy’s photographic vitality. An NYFF29 selection.
Playing as part of Varda: A Retrospective, December 20-January 6. See showtimes & get tickets.