MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 37,695 this week

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

7.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 1,448 users   Metascore: 86/100
Reviews: 11 user | 80 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.

Director:

Writer:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

Editors' Spotlight

Alpha House Premieres Today

All ten episodes of the second season of "Alpha House" are available starting today. Watch them now, only on Prime Instant Video.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 44 titles
created 11 Sep 2011
 
a list of 23 titles
created 26 Feb 2013
 
list image
a list of 46 titles
created 24 Aug 2013
 
a list of 39 titles
created 10 months ago
 
a list of 35 titles
created 8 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Beaches of Agnès (2008)

The Beaches of Agnès (2008) on IMDb 7.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Beaches of Agnès.

User Polls

10 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Le Bonheur (1965)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Francois is a young carpenter married with Therese. They have two little children. All goes well, life is beautiful, the sun shines and the birds sing. One day, Francois meets Emilie, they ... See full summary »

Director: Agnès Varda
Stars: Jean-Claude Drouot, Claire Drouot, Olivier Drouot
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Jacquot Demy is a little boy at the end of the thirties. His father owns a garage and his mother is a hairdresser. The whole family lives happily and likes to sing and to go to the movies. ... See full summary »

Director: Agnès Varda
Stars: Philippe Maron, Edouard Joubeaud, Laurent Monnier
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

There are two parts to this film: sequences of life in the fishing village of La Pointe Courte (a government inspector's visit, the death of a child) alternate with others following a ... See full summary »

Director: Agnès Varda
Stars: Philippe Noiret, Silvia Monfort
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Director: Agnès Varda
Stars: Bodan Litnanski, Macha Makeïeff, Agnès Varda
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Director: Agnès Varda
Stars: Anouk Aimée, Richard Berry, Nino Castelnuovo
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The intertwined lives of 2 women in 1970's France, set against the progress of the women's movement in which Agnes Varda was involved. Pomme and Suzanne meet when Pomme helps Suzanne obtain... See full summary »

Director: Agnès Varda
Stars: Thérèse Liotard, Valérie Mairesse, Robert Dadiès
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Director: Agnès Varda
Agnès de ci de là Varda (TV Series 2011)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
Stars: Agnès Varda, Anouk Aimée, Manoel de Oliveira
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Documentary on the small shopkeepers of the rue Daguerre in Paris, where the film-maker lived.

Director: Agnès Varda
Stars: Rosalie Varda
Documenteur (1981)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A young French woman, separated from her lover, tries to find a lodging in L.A. for herself and her son.

Director: Agnès Varda
Stars: Sabine Mamou, Mathieu Demy, Lisa Blok-Linson
The Creatures (1966)
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Director: Agnès Varda
Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Michel Piccoli, Eva Dahlbeck
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Mary-Jane asks, "Do all women fall in love with a boy, or just those without sons?" She's divorced with two daughters, Lucy and Loulou. Lucy has a party where Mary-Jane notices Julien, 14, ... See full summary »

Director: Agnès Varda
Stars: Jane Birkin, Mathieu Demy, Charlotte Gainsbourg
Edit

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
Edit

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


Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

French visa # 118156. See more »

Connections

Edited into Film socialisme (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

"Maréchal nous voilà!
Music by André Montagnard and Charles Courtioux
Lyrics by André Montagnard
éditions musicales du Ver Luisant
(1941)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Varda's brilliant autobiography
26 March 2010 | by (Ashland, Oregon) – See all my reviews

Granted, I am a huge fan of Agnès Varda's work—and persona. I've seen most of her American releases, which are, unfortunately, far fewer than the 46 films she's directed. Sorry to report that even Netflix only stocks 8 of her films; my local video store and library system, not even 1.

Eighty-one-year-old Varda is, first and foremost, a poet who happens to be holding a video camera. And with this, her autobiography, she quickly brings us into the stream of consciousness of her brilliant mind, regaling us with both fantastic images, filmic experiments, and words rendered so quietly and sweetly that it belies their utter veracity. With the fluidity of a Russian ballerina, she weaves still photos, clips from her films, present- day documentary footage, and fictional re-creations.

A viewer with a familiarity of her oeuvre will obviously take away greater understanding and enjoyment of this recounting of her life and work. Yet, I believe it's accessible even for the uninitiated, as a tribute to an artist and iconoclast who sustains a strong vision and keen insight into life and art. And a great big heart.

" 'If we opened up people, we'd find landscapes.' If we opened up me, we'd find beaches," she begins, an apt conceit for the half-Greek filmmaker who has lived her life near the sea. And thus, in the film's opening shots, she constructs a web of mirrors propped on easels in the sand, reflecting the incoming waves. These are fancy, gilded, furniture mirrors, large and small, capturing both la plage and Varda's reflection as she begins the narrative of her childhood. In and of itself, it's a beautiful installation piece—greatly enhanced by the reflexive quality of a sea of cameras filming themselves.

Moments later, she sets up family photos on blades of grass in the sand. While discussing an image of herself and her sister in their bathing suits, two little girls appear in current time, wearing the same sorts of suits. "I don't know what it means to re-create a scene like this. Do we relive the moment?" Varda wonders. But her answer seems less about reconstructing the past (this is not a wistful film like Bergman's Wild Strawberries), but more about delight in her powers as a magician with a camera. "For me, it's cinema, it's a game," she says.

Some of the film's sweetest moments derive from shots of her family—her two children and late-husband, fellow New Wave auteur Jacques Demy (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg). She obviously has great affection for the "peaceful island," as she describes them. In one lovely scene, the extended family is dressed in white gauze, frolicking. "Together they're the sum of my happiness. But I don't know if I know them, or understand them. I just go toward them."

Varda employs an unusual technique of re-creating the major moments of her life/films while bringing her current self into the proceedings. In the age of social networking a la Facebook, with gambits toward entering the past as we simultaneously dwell in the present, this seems a very contemporary notion. With the gift of memory, we both do and don't inhabit all of the times of our life at once. As she states, "I live. And as long as I live, I remember."

One of La Varda's most lovable traits is how utterly herself she can be. Her 8-decade-old hair sports its trademark bowl cut, yet in some scenes is colored almost parfait-like (sans cerise) with white on top and deep red around the ends—gloriously unconventional, and wry. And indeed her sense of humor is continually present. She also has the good sense not to take herself completely seriously. After revisiting her early home in Brussels and discovering that it is now inhabited by an avid train enthusiast who prattles on about his collection, she concludes, "The 'childhood home' part was a flop."

In 55 years of making films, the director has clearly spent ample time pondering the art of her craft. As she notes, "I think I've always lived in it." This is obviously so, and without traditional tutelage. She claims to have made her directorial debut, La Pointe-Courte, after having taken in just 10 films in her first 25 years. This greatly flouted convention within French film-making of the time, in which training and credentials were paramount. Much of the film concerns images and the context of their creation— the process of birthing, what prompts images into being, the results of their existence, the ripple effects of the filmmaker's art, and the inextricable link between maker and film.

Although Varda includes reenactments in this walk backward, she also allows the viewer to be in on their making. It's as if she hopes to underscore the artifice and revels in the fact that we will knowingly suspend our disbelief anyway. In one scene, she sets up a production office atop sand dumped on a city street.

The movie's final scene reveals Varda's "shack," a studio she's recently built on the beach. The filmmaker-as-architect metaphor made real, its walls are constructed of strips of celluloid from a 1966 film in carefully chosen colors, bathed in light. The structure is fragile yet appears solid. This is a wondrous metaphor, one that seems to encapsulate the artist's spirit and life. "In here, it feels like I live in cinema," she notes.


6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why shouldn't Agnes Varda have a voice? wayne-83
Q+A with Agnes Varda in London shil7669
PRODUCTION DESIGNER mcarel
Discuss The Beaches of Agnès (2008) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?