05.03.24, 20:30, Mélody (1971) + Jane B. by Agnès V. (1988)

Jane B. par Agnès V. is an exceptional cinematic portrait of the recently deceased actress and singer Jane Birkin by Nouvelle Vague filmmaker Agnès Varda. In a playful dialogue with her camera, Varda casts the franglaise after whom a handbag is named amid the multitude of imaginings that shape her public identity. Even more revealing than her intimate registrations, are the actresses' renditions of (Jane) characters who preceded her. As accomplices, the two women pepper the docudrama with elements of fiction that in turn pierce through reality.

Varda's take on Birkin also indirectly seizes on the Jane we get to see in Jean-Christophe Averty's téléfilm Mélody (1971), the full-length music video avant la lettre that accompanies Serge Gainsbourg's cult record Histoire de Mélody Nelson. In this comédie musicale, as Gainsbourg's lover at the time, she plays the protagonist Mélody, a Lolita apparition who is mowed down from her bicycle by an older man. This results in a psychedelic display of chroma key effects and video filters where the couple strolls through paintings by Dalí and Delvaux.

This film is introduced by theatre scholar Tessa Vannieuwenhuyze.

Agnès Varda, 1988, France, 99'
i.c.w. Film-Plateau
Campus Bijloke
Godshuizenlaan 4
9000 Gent