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Rarely have I seen an artist talk so candidly and playfully about her history, career and inspirations like Agnes Varda does in this wonderful combination of intimate memoir and self-analysis that celebrates life and (her) memories with a lot of humor and nostalgia.
It has become something of a cliche for the art film to make the beach its figurative crux. The defining feature of our physical world has been appropriated as the brand of the art film. Along with The Beach trope we have The Mirror. Perhaps no film is bold enough to exist without having at least one shot of a protagonist sizing themselves up in the mirror whether it be in self loathing or contemplation. Enter Agnes Varda who opens her film The Beaches of Agnes by bringing mirrors to the beach. By playfully compounding cliches Varda breathes new life into the all but dead poetic qualities of beaches and mirrors while also re-establishing the triumph of personal imagination over a cinema that is more than ever plagued by convention and commercialization.
Varda is arguably the original pioneer of the French new wave, leading the charge even before Godard Rivette and Truffaut. One of the greatest achievements of the French New Wave was bucking the studio/genre constraints that had long kept cinema from realizing itself as an art of personal expression. In the Beaches of Agnes, Varda takes the documentary/autobiographical form to new personal heights with a wide array of sound-image techniques.
What separates Beaches of Agnes from its counterparts is its dedication to creating a personal style to match its personal content. Autobiographical voice-over juxtaposed with montage, found-footage, re-creation, and installation like mise en scene are few of the many methods Varda uses to further personalize an artistic medium that is arguably fundamentally at odds with personal expression.
Hence we return to those beaches and mirrors which proves that the greatest qualities of the The French New Wave established by Varda are far from dated and contemporary filmmakers should be taking notes.
Inventive, madly moving, a thousand surprises
Que delícia de filme. Uma autobiografia em fragmentos recortados, selecionados pela memória afetiva. "Je me souviens pendant que je vis." Depois...
Delightful French movie about and by Agnes Varda. Enjoyed it very much.
Très bien, surprenant, sur la vie d'Agnes Varda revue d'une perspective artistique et imaginative, très créatif et réussit le pari de ne pas faire un catalogue de film bien présenté. Très bien.
Filme autobiográfico de Agnès Varda, Les Plages d'Agnès é encantador. Traz felicidades, tristezas, sinceridade e humor. Dá vontade de conhecer lugares e rever outros, sentir o vento na cara, tirar fotos, protestar, conversar, chorar, sorrir, viver.
A meditation on life, art, love, and aging. Wonderfully meta and amusingly clever. Agnes Varda has created something truly unique.
Coquillages et crustaces, Agnes va vous scotcher. Merci Agnes pour cette fraicheur cinematographique.
I want to grow old like AgnÃ¨s Varda. Such a child-like imagination she has!