8.0/10
2,674
14 user 80 critic

The Beaches of Agnès (2008)

Les plages d'Agnès (original title)
Trailer
0:58 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

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

Director:

Agnès Varda
11 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Varda films and interviews gleaners in France in all forms, from those picking fields after the harvest to those scouring the dumpsters of Paris.

Director: Agnès Varda
Stars: François Wertheimer, Agnès Varda, Bodan Litnanski
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 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
Vagabond (1985)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A young woman's body is found frozen in a ditch. Through flashbacks and interviews, we see the events that led to her inevitable death.

Director: Agnès Varda
Stars: Sandrine Bonnaire, Macha Méril, Stéphane Freiss
Le Bonheur (1965)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

François, a young carpenter, lives a happy, uncomplicated life with his wife Thérèse and their two small children. One day he meets Emilie, a clerk in the local post office.

Director: Agnès Varda
Stars: Jean-Claude Drouot, Marie-France Boyer, Marcelle Faure-Bertin
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 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, Marcel Jouet
Faces Places (2017)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Director Agnes Varda and photographer/muralist J.R. journey through rural France and form an unlikely friendship.

Directors: JR, Agnès Varda
Stars: Agnès Varda, JR, Jeannine Carpentier
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Cleo, a singer and hypochondriac, becomes increasingly worried that she might have cancer while awaiting test results from her doctor.

Director: Agnès Varda
Stars: Corinne Marchand, Antoine Bourseiller, Dominique Davray
Varda by Agnès (TV Series 2019)
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Agnès Varda, photographer, installation artist and pioneer of the Nouvelle Vague, is an institution of French cinema. Taking a seat on a theatre stage, she uses photos and film excerpts to provide an insight into her unorthodox oeuvre.

Stars: Agnès Varda, Sandrine Bonnaire, Hervé Chandès
Biography | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

"I'll look at you, but not at the camera. It could be a trap," whispers Jane Birkin shyly into Agnès Varda's ear at the start of JANE B. PAR AGNES V. The director of CLEO FROM 5 TO 7 and ... See full summary »

Director: Agnès Varda
Stars: Jane Birkin, Jean-Pierre Léaud, Philippe Léotard
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A short film of interviews and protests at a rally to free Huey Newton.

Director: Agnès Varda
Stars: H. Rap Brown, Stokely Carmichael, Eldridge Cleaver
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Agnes Varda returns to the people she met in her 2000 documentary on gleaning and meets some new people who were inspired by her first film.

Director: Agnès Varda
Stars: Bodan Litnanski, Macha Makeïeff, Agnès Varda
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

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

Director: Agnès Varda
Stars: Thérèse Liotard, Valérie Mairesse, Robert Dadiès
Edit

Cast

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

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

France

Language:

French | English

Release Date:

17 December 2008 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

As Praias de Agnès See more »

Filming Locations:

La Panne Beach, Belgium See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

€1,900,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,948, 7 August 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$239,711, 22 August 2010
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

French visa # 118156. See more »

Connections

References La Jetée (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphonie en Si mineur, Opus 7 D. 759
(Symphonie inachevée)
Composed by Franz Schubert
(1822)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
a filmmaker's view of a filmmaker's life
11 March 2010 | by Buddy-51See all my reviews

"The Beaches of Agnes" is an autobiographical documentary done in a uniquely impressionistic style. The subject is Agnes Varda, the legendary French director who began her career in the 1950s and, who at the age of 80, shows that she is still a master of her art and craft. For not only does Varda provide the voice-over narration for the film, but she conceived and directed the project as well.

Varda uses as her focal point the various beaches where she spent a great deal of her time growing up. It is to these places that she has brought a crew of filmmakers to shoot her delivering extended monologues on her life and to restage - often in a cleverly amusing and surrealistic style - memories and events that have remained with her throughout the years. When she has actual photos and file footage from the past, she is quick to use them, but when she doesn't, she turns to present-day re-creations to fill in the gaps. But all is not limited to the beach, for she frequently heads inland to retrace the steps of her life, visiting key locations along the way.

She explores her childhood, when she lived much of the time on a houseboat; her teen years, when she was thoroughly ignorant of what a woman could do in the world and of the realities of man/woman relationships; her experiences during the War and the Occupation, when most French citizens "lived day to day;" her years studying art at the Ecole du Louvre; her first taste of freedom and independence when she stole off one night all on her own to Corsica; her time spent as a fisherman; her burgeoning fascination with photography; her marriage to fellow director and film-making inspiration, Jacques Demy; her role as mother and grandmother; her trips to Cuba and Southern California in the 1960s to capture in photos and on film the turbulent nature of that period; her fervent pro-feminist leanings that often found their way into her movies; and her eventual transition to film-making herself to become the only female figurehead of the French New Wave, an otherwise Young Boys' Club that included, in addition to Demy, Godard, Truffaut, Resnais, and various other cinematic masters.

It is here that the movie turns to Varda's career as a filmmaker, as the artist herself discusses her inspirations, her key themes and concerns, and the logistical problems of the movie-making process itself. The movie provides us with a generous sampling of clips from not just her own movies but those of Demy as well.

As she reflects back on her life, Varda addresses the issues of aging, memory, and personal loss (especially of her beloved Jacques, who died of AIDS in 1990). She views the sea as representative of permanence - and human beings and their foreshortened life spans as symbols of the universe at its most temporal. Through its mixing of the real with the surreal, the literal with the figurative, "The Beaches of Agnes" mirrors the hybrid nature of Varda's photographic and cinematic works themselves.

But the movie is often at its most charming when it is content to simply BE, when some seemingly random image, person, event or thought comes along to capture Varda's complete and undivided attention - a testament to her astute powers of observation, to her complete and utter absorption in the moment, and to her ability to make art out of the raw materials of actual life.

And isn't that what movie-making is really all about, after all?


7 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 14 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed