Never mind the ravages of time. Filmmakers seem to be exempt. In her winsome, haunting self-portrait, The Beaches of Agnès, which is released theatrically on July 1, French director Agnès Varda has retained all the vitality, humor, and sheer cinematic inventiveness that has marked her films since 1954's seminal La Pointe Courte, which she made on a shoestring budget at the age of 25. She'd always wanted to sail to Paris-well, in Beaches, she does. We see her coolly navigating a small dinghy under the Pont Neuf along the Seine. She treats the film as an opportunity for playful wish fulfillment as well as for analysing her life experiences, her filmic hits . . . and the odd miss.Hailed as a precursor to the Nouvelle Vague, La Pointe Courte, her black-and-white debut feature, was a neorealist love story with parallel subplots set in a Mediterranean fishing village. She revisits that location in the new film, providing a moving tribute to the locals who, in acting out their life stories, had helped launch her career. The appreciation is mutual. In Sète, they've named a street after her.
Introduction, interview, transcript, translation and edit by Liza Béar.
Pitched to and assigned by then-editor Glenn O'Brien
(c) copyright Liza Béar 2009 All rights reserved.