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the Other Doesn't One Sings Movie Review

varda agnes van valerie

One Sings, the Other Doesn't is a so-so look at a pair of feminists who stay in touch over a 15-year period. Apple, the singer (Valerie Mairesse), repeats the same dumb lyrics over and over: “I am woman, I'm me,” as her quiet friend Suzanne (Therese Liotard) works at a family planning clinic to support her two fatherless children. Charlie Van Damme photographs the story attractively and the two leads give strong performances. Yet Agnes Varda's screenplay is, at least sporadically, inane. At one point, she has Apple offer her Iranian husband a deal. He can leave her and take their baby if he gives her another child, thus relegating him to the role of a functional accessory in her existence. In every previous sequence, their love had seemed real enough. If Varda is suggesting that men assume the shadowy roles once played by women, she's indicating a reactionary trend every bit as disagreeable as the one it's replacing. At least in THIS screenplay, Varda is persistent, but fairly cagey about ideologies, at the expense of a more substantial story. Her other films include Cleo from 5 to 7, Le Bonheur, Vagabond, Le Petit Amour, and Jacquot. AKA: L'Une Chante, l'Autre Pas.

1977 105m/C FR BE Valerie Mairesse, Therese Liotard, Robert Dadies, Ali Affi, Jean-Pierre Pellegrin, Francois Wertheimer; D: Agnes Varda; W: Agnes Varda; C: Charlie Van Damme; M: Francois Wertheimer. VHS

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