les Cent et une nuits de Simon Cinéma
A Hundred and One Nights
Agnés Varda’s film, is a vibrant reflection of the first one hundred years of cinema told through the central character, Mr. Simon Cinéma (Michel Piccoli). Piccoli is not a surprising casting choice considering Michel has well over 200 film credits of his own as an actor plus numerous credits as producer, director, composer and writer. Though Simon is the principal focus of the film, the true main character is the cinema itself, voiced thorough those who bring it life. It is no coincidence that Simon is one hundred years old, as he is truly the physical embodiment of cinema.
The lesson of the film, if there needs to be one, is that cinema is not what it is today, without being what it was in years past.
At times, the film can feel like a list of titles out of a film history book, but Varda’s attention to detail in mise-en-scène make it far more rich than most history books. The film also lacks Vardas often harsh reality, but that doesn’t make the film any less appealing. Particularly when you consider that it is really a celebration of the love of cinema that brings its players together, both young and old.
Favorite line: “Italian neo-realism strikes again”
As an aside… for those of you who watch films on your computers, I could not for the life of me get the subtitles to play on my Mac. They worked just fine on my home DVD player, but for some reason, my computer would not recognize them.