Scheherazade she ain’t. But by invoking the great storyteller, writer-director Agnes Varda (One Sings, The Other Doesn’t) tries to elicit awed admiration for the power of movies — then neglects to inspire us with the tales themselves. Centenarian Simon Cinema (Piccoli) hires young film student Camille (Gayet) to reminisce with him about movies. Unfortunately, Varda gives us only snippets from some of the films mentioned — apparently she thinks that just hearing their titles should be intoxicating enough.
(0:09 and throughout) Watch the portraits behind Simon’s bed and chair: Different faces appear (Orson Welles, Fay Wray, and many more) as the conversational topic changes.
The Last Detail
Mathieu Demy, who plays Camille’s boyfriend, is the son of Varda and director Jacques Demy (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg).