“A radical masterpiece that dives headlong into the complexity of a woman’s heart -- with a dreamy Jane Birkin (looking like Mick Jagger) who delicately guides us into a shocking wilderness. Seeing this movie propelled me into my own first feature -- it felt like a very personal invitation, a gentle dare, a challenge that must be met. One of my all-time favorites.” - Miranda July
Conceptualized with Jane Birkin, international icon and subject of Agnès Varda’s 1988 documentary JANE B. PAR AGNÉS V., KUNG-FU MASTER! has the famed actress and singer playing a fictionalized version of herself in her own home with her own children, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Lou Doillon. Birkin’s Mary-Jane falls in love with her eldest daughter’s classmate, Julien, who’s played by Varda’s son, Mathieu Demy. She’s 40, he’s 14, but their love is ageless. Varda’s depiction of the affair is empathetic and tender despite the taboo nature of the subject matter. It’s less about their romance than it is about the youthful feeling of first love and one’s ability to recapture that in adulthood.
“I can get the Palme d’Or, but I can’t get exhibition, so it’s a contradiction,” Varda told The Hollywood Reporter in October. On that note, Chicago Filmmakers and Beguiled Cinema are proud to present the Chicago premiere of the new digital restoration of KUNG-FU MASTER! (1988, 105 min., video)