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Dancing with Light: The Cinematography of Agnès Godard

Sunday, June 16, 2013
7:00 p.m. The Dreamlife of Angels
Erick Zonca (France, 1998)

In Person/Agnès Godard

"Shot with a handheld camera and lots of natural light, the film has a sensuous, radiant surface that does justice to its title. . . . Godard . . . is a perfect cinematographer for Zonca."—Village Voice

"This impassioned first feature by Erick Zonca reveals a soulful, moving vision of our shared responsibility for one another's lives . . . as raw and immediate as it is heartfelt."—The New York Times

(La vie rêvée des anges). Erick Zonca’s debut feature made a star out of actress Élodie Bouchez, and won cinematographer Agnès Godard’s further accolades for the radiant, sensual beauty of her images, here shot on Super 16. Two young women, the elfin, streetwise Isa (Bouchez) and the more cynical, embittered Marie (Natacha Régnier), drift along the edges of French society; for them, every day is a struggle, whether with work, or with (or against) men. One may be a dreamer and the other a realist, but as their friendship grows, and other relationships emerge, such distinctions soon fade away. Winner of Césars for Best Picture and Actress, Dreamlife was called “one of the best French movies since Jules met Jim” by Anthony Lane of the New Yorker, and earned worldwide acclaim for Godard’s handheld, naturalistic cinematography. “With Super 16 it was possible to soften the picture and it suited the narrative better,” notes Godard. “It created an intimacy which led to more simplicity.”

—Jason Sanders

• Written by Zonca. Photographed by Agnès Godard. With Elodie Bouchez, Natacha Régnier, Grégoire Colin. (113 mins, In French with English subtitles, Color, 35mm, From Institut Français, permission Sony Pictures Classics)