Daguerreotypes is a documentary created by Agnes Varda (Jacquot de Nantes, La Pointe Courte) in 1975. Varda has had a career stretch out over a half century, with Les plages d’Agnes comprising eir latest work. Daguerreotypes is an intimate look into the area in which ey spent some of eir best years, looking into the different efforts, shops, and owners that make the Rue Daguerre such an unique place. The age of the documentary makes it all the more interesting, as a great many of those that would pick up this film were not alive when Varda was originally filming it. By creating such an intimate look into seventies France, I believe that Varda was able to create something that stands the test of time. The narrative structure of Daguerreotypes is such that one begins to care for each of the individuals shown, even if they are half a world away.
There are a few bonus features that have been given viewers by Cinema Guild on the Daguerreotypes DVD. The twenty minute long “Rue Daguerre in 2005” provides viewers with a sense of how the place has changed in the thirty years since the film was created, as well as providing a snapshot for how the area was a number of years back. The essay that is also present, written by Haden Guest, provides some important information regarding the context in which the film can be enjoyed and how important the title truly was in terms of films (both fiction and documentary) that would immediately follow it. Viewers may not be familiar with Varda’s work up to this point, but I would strongly suggest you purchase Daguerreotypes from an online retailer, just to see what all the fuss is about.
Daguerreotypes DVD / 2011 Cinema Guild / 75 Minutes / http://www.cinemaguild.com