Watch: Agnès Varda’s 1976 Short Film ‘Plaisir d’amour en Iran’
“In my films I always want to make people see deeply,” said filmmaker Agnès Varda. “I don’t want to show things but to give people the desire to see.” And when it comes to the films that linger on in our minds, it’s their power to do just that which we love. It’s not about delivering us a message, but giving us a proper sensory and intellectual cues to understand them for ourselves and the willingness to make them come alive.
But for Varda, whose career began in photography, her work has always been as aesthetically stunning as it is thought-provoking and poetic. As one of the most important filmmakers in modern French cinema—or any realm of cinema for that matter—she has been making films since the age of 26, when her debut La Pointe Courte established her as one of the most vital directors of the day. From Cleo from 5 to 7 and Le Bonheur to Vagabond and The Gleaners & I, Varda’s work may have gone through myriad thematic changes throughout her career, but there’s a sentiment and provocative allure to all of her work that will forever be inspiring.
And in 1976, “a time when Iran had a seemingly revolving door for incoming European directors and bottomless funding for their projects,” she made a short film titled Plaisir d’amour en Iran, starring Valérie Mairesse, Ali Raffi. Shot at the Shah Masjed in Esfehan, the film is a “sort of love story” between a Iranian man (Raffi) and a French woman (Mairesse) visiting the city. And thanks to UbuWeb, you can now watch the wonderful, six-minute short HERE.