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The Beaches of Agnès (2008)
"Les plages d'Agnès" (original title)

7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 1,435 users   Metascore: 86/100
Reviews: 11 user | 79 critic | 19 from Metacritic.com

Agnès Varda explores her memories, mostly chronologically, with photographs, film clips, interviews, reenactments, and droll, playful contemporary scenes of her narrating her story.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Herself
André Lubrano ...
Himself
Blaise Fournier ...
Himself
Vincent Fournier ...
Himself
Andrée Vilar ...
Herself
Stéphane Vilar ...
Himself
Christophe Vilar ...
Himself
Rosalie Varda ...
Herself
...
Himself
Christophe Vallaux ...
Himself
Mireille Henrio ...
Herself
Didier Rouget ...
Himself
Anne-Laure Manceau ...
Agnès Varda jeune
Gerald Ayres ...
Himself (as Gerry Ayres)
Jim McBride ...
Himself
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Storyline

At nearly 80, Agnès Varda explores her memory - growing up in Belgium, living in Sète, Paris, and Noirmoutier, discovering photography, making a film, being part of the New Wave, raising children with Jacques Demy, losing him, and growing old. She explores her memory using photographs, film clips, home movies, contemporary interviews, and set pieces she designs to capture a feeling, a time, or a frame. Shining through each scene are her impish charm, inventiveness, and natural empathy. How do people grow old, how does loss stay with them, can they remain creative, and what do they remember? Memory, she says, is like a swarm of confused flies. She envisions hers for us. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Details

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Release Date:

17 December 2008 (France)  »

Also Known As:

As Praias de Agnès  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$2,948 (USA) (7 August 2009)

Gross:

$239,711 (USA) (20 August 2010)
 »

Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

French visa # 118156. See more »

Connections

Edited into Film socialisme (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphonie en Si mineur, Opus 7 D. 759
(Symphonie inachevée)
Composed by Franz Schubert
(1822)
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User Reviews

 
Agnès Varda's loving memories, creative film-making, imagination lively as ever at 80
8 March 2010 | by (sf, usa) – See all my reviews

I was fortunate to catch (October 30, 2009 in SF) "The Beaches of Agnès" aka "Les Plages d'Agnès" 2008, in French with English subtitles. Agnès Varda is 80 (in 2008) and still so lively, creative, imaginative, giving us delightful reminiscing of The New Wave film period, including the young and the old. What a filmmaker, cinematic lover, unique lady, she is. Besides being a retrospective look at Varda's cinematic life (so far), the film also serves as a loving dedication to the close to 30 years she shared with her husband Jacques Demy - the fabulous w-d-filmmaker who gave us the popular French films entirely sung musically: "The Young Girls of Rochefort" 1967 and "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg" 1964 (Catherine Deneuve was in both of these two gems).

If you like movies, film history, graphic design, visual play on imagery (or affiliated to none of the above), you will (still) feel akin to Varda's 'Beaches' whether you thoroughly understands French, speaks the language, been to Paris-France, or not. She has delivered a cinematic journey of going through the various phases of her life, experiences in film-making, and added her unique stamp of Agnès Varda sensibility. It's a good place to be and 'tis fun to hang around with her. As my favorite Emily Dickinson epigram says: Delight has no Competitor, so it is always most. Yes, Agnès Varda is alive and well and still full of humor, bemused or otherwise - a fantastic spirited woman, ever the innovative-discovery eye afresh, so full of wisdom, be it wistful or witty.

This film is a great companion piece for viewing with her loving remembrance of Demy: Jacquot De Nantes (1991), which is in Black & White, and Color, documented the hometown childhood origin which grew into the lifelong cinematic passion of Jacques. Another enjoyable Varda-Demy film, anytime.

There is an accessible official site USA at "cinemaguild.com/beachesofagnes" and the trailer at "cinemaguild.com/beachesofagnes/trailer.html". Looks like DVD is available, released on March 2, 2010.


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