Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Model Shop

Unlike Hopper's cowboy pastiche of Euro arthouse, this is a real French new wave film shot on Los Angeles. Jacques Demy's Model Shop (1969) does a great job on the city; there's no quest narrative here, only endless loops and circuits. Meanwhile, his wife Agnes Varda was busy shooting Black Panthers (1968) and one of the ultimate late-60s Hollywood oddities, Lions Love (1969). None of the films made much of a mark in the US and the pair soon returned to Paris. Together, Model Shop and Lions Love offer an idiosyncratic, oblique, and refreshingly underexposed outsider's perspective of an overdetermined moment.