Cleveland International Film Festival } March 22 – April 1, 2023 } Playhouse Square

ONE SINGS, THE OTHER DOESN'T
(L'Une chante, l'autre pas)

Year: 1977
Country: France/Belgium/Netherlands Antilles
Run Time: 105 minutes

ONE SINGS, THE OTHER DOESN'T

Varda was born in Belgium of a Greek father and French mother. She began her career as a still photographer and made her first movie in France in 1954. In the late 1950s, she was commonly lumped in with the New Wave, though in fact her movies were radically different from those of Francois Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard and the other stars of the "nouvelle vague." Her first important feature was "Cleo From 5 to 7" (1961) about a singer who fears she has cancer. "Le Bonheur" (1965) was a ravishingly photographed story about a man who ardently loves two women - a movie that was criticized by some early feminists for its sympathetic portrayal of the hero. ONE SINGS, THE OTHER DOESN'T is perhaps her most successful work and has been warmly praised by critics. A few feminists have scoffed at its failure to take a more militant stand on the battle of the sexes - which Varda refuses to recognize as a battle. The film recounts the longtime friendship between two women (Valerie Mairesse and Therese Liotard). Leisurely structured in three sections (1962, 1972 and a brief coda in 1975), the movie concentrates on the typical rather than the extraordinary. Varda refuses to hype up her story with phony histrionics and ideological clashes. Her strengths as an artist are lyrical, celebratory, tender. Her co-protagonists aren't sentimentalized or glorified as tragic martyrs: They're simply two likeable and resourceful women who cope with intelligence, honesty and humor. Their triumphs are untainted by smugness, their failures free from paranoid suspicions. Nor are the males reduced to sexual stereotypes: Like the two heroines, they're presented as decent but contradictory individuals, trying their best in a world steeped in compromise. In short, Varda is a mature, subtle artist, immune to the sexist cant that affects both genders.

Screenplay
Agnes Varda

Producer
Denis Epstein

Cinematography
Charlie Van Damme

Editing
Joele Van Effenterre

Principal Cast
Valerie Mairesse, Therese Liotard, Robert Dadies, Ali Raffi, Jean-Pierre Pellegrin, Mona Mairesse, Francis Lemaire, Gisele Halimi, Dominique Ducros, Rosalie Varda, Joelle Papineau, Micou Papineau, Doudou Greffier, Francois Wertheimer, Mathieu Demy

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