La Pointe Courte, Dir. Agnès Varda, France, 1955, 86 mins, French with English subtitles
Agnès Varda's film career began with this graceful, penetrating study of a marriage on the rocks. The film weaves together two tales: one follows a young couple (including a young Philippe Noiret of Cinema Paradiso fame) as they visit a small Mediterranean fishing village to decide whether to stay together or break up; the other follows the residents of the village, largely fishermen and their wives and children as they dispute fishing rights with government inspectors, suffer the death of a young child and fall in and out of love. A gorgeously filmed, radical debut that still has the power to change the way we look at cinema.