Friday, April 10, 2009
|8:40 p.m.||The Beaches of Agnès|
Agnès Varda (France, 2008)
Bay Area Premiere
(Les plages d’Agnès). Agnès Varda takes a cinematic stroll through her career—and the history of French film—in this jovial first-person documentary that “walks backwards” across the beaches, landscapes, and movie sets of her life and times. For some, turning eighty may mean settling down, but for the “Grandmother of the French New Wave” it’s cause for reflection, irreverence, and a continued reinvention of the cinematic form. Recollections of a wartime childhood, an early career as a photographer, and her emergence as a filmmaker coincide with remembrances of friends and colleagues, a who’s-who that includes Jean-Luc Godard, Gérard Depardieu, Alexander Calder, members of the Black Panthers, and Jim Morrison, with special attention paid to fellow Left Bank filmmakers like good friend Chris Marker (who “appears” in his favorite feline guise) and her great love, Jacques Demy. As charming and idiosyncratic as Varda herself, The Beaches of Agnès is supposedly her last film; if so, it’s a goodbye as youthful and vigorous as her hello, 1954’s La Pointe Courte.
The Beaches of Agnès is repeated on Saturday, April 11.
• Written by Varda. Photographed by Alain Sakot, Hélène Louvart, Julia Fabry, Jean-Baptiste Morin, Varda. (110 mins, In French with English subtitles, Color, 35mm, From Ciné-Tamaris)