THE BEACHES OF AGNES (Les Plages d'Agnès)


the-beaches-of-agnes-les-plages-dagnes-dec-2ndAn autobiographical journey through Varda’s life and work in film. Now in her 80s, she still possesses the energy and vitality that they display. This colourful retrospective requires no previous knowledge of her films and will make you want to revisit the work or see it for the first time. A founder member of the French New Wave, she has been a leading light of French cinema ever since. (Cert 18)
Dir: Agnès Varda 108 mins France 2008
to be shown with
PULMO MARINA Artists’ Cinema
Dir: Aurélien Froment (Cert U) 5 mins USA 2010

Programme Notes

Thursday, 2nd December 2010

THE BEACHES OF AGNES (Les Plages d’Agnès)
France 2008 108 minutes Cert. 18

In this gentle retrospective film from one of the founding members of the French nouvelle vague, the sprightly and mischievous Varda, at 80, takes us on a journey revisiting her life’s work in film, photography, and installation art. With interviews or, more accurately, conversations with friends and family and also clips from some of her films, the viewer will go away wanting to revisit her many works over the last 50 years.

Agnès Varda – Herself
André Lubrano – Himself
Blaise Fournier – Himself
Vincent Fournier – Himself
Rosalie Varda – Herself
Mathieu Demy – Himself

Director – Agnès Varda
Screenplay – Agnès Varda
Producer – Agnès Varda
Original Music – Joanna Bruzdowicz, Stéphane Vilar
Cinematography – Julia Fabry, Hélène Louvart, Arlene Nelson, Alain Sakot, Agnès Varda

“But if you have not seen a single film by Agnès Varda, perhaps it is best if you start with ‘The Beaches of Agnès.’ You don’t need the know anything about her work. She has a way of never explaining very much, and yet somehow making it all clear. She does this by not treating her life as a lesson in biography, but as the treasured memories of friends.”, Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

USA 2010 5 mins Cert U

Continuing our series of Artists’ Cinema shorts, director Aurelian Froment, born in Angers, France and now living in Dublin, provides a commentary on the jellyfish.

“will delight David Attenborough and Discovery Channel fans with its deadpan parody of a nature documentary that also reflects on the very nature of the medium”, Sophie Mayer, Open Wide Magazine




“The best short so far [this season]”

“Beautiful photography”

“Beautiful – perhaps fewer words, or even none, would have been better”

“Beautifully shot film of nature ‘red in tooth and claw’”

“Witty and beautiful”

“The most informative short we have ever had – there are now about 40 experts on jellyfish in the area!”

“The most informative film we have ever had – we are all now jellyfish experts.”

“Odd but entertaining and informative, in a weird way!”

“Did a fine job of breaking the fourth wall, with its bleak commentary – something along the lines of what narrators really want to say.”

“How did that manage not to be boring?”

“Not much substance in a jellyfish!”

“Rather shapeless”

“Too much talking – not enough images”


“I have an aversion to jellyfish and they to me!”

“What can one say – rather wobbly?”


“Formidable! I loved it.”

“Charmant et docile”

“Thoughtful and moving”

“Beautiful and moving. So well made and memorable”

“A clever film with some lovely images”

“Great [film] and surreal, always going backwards”

“Boy, did I enjoy that film! I want to be like her when I’m 80!”

“Such warmth, imagination and zest for life”

“Wow! Wonderful to document her own life [but] how much was invention? What a performance, though.”

“Very impressive! Perfectly made, with none of the self-indulgent tweeness I dreaded might feature in an autobiopic from an old film-maker, looking back on her life and work. Entertaining, moving, sometimes baffling but none the worse for that!”

“A marvellous insight into the imagination of a great artist and director.”

“A marvellous insight into the world of a great artist and director.”

“Fascinating. What an attractive person [and what] a splendid insight into film-making.”

“Just as unconventional as Pulmo Marina, although the amateurish post-production only hindered what was one creative way of showcasing Varda’s life.”

“A very interesting introduction [and] fascinating [film] construction”

“Mostly fascinating and full of life. At times too diffuse, so confusing and a bit too long – but overall a great film.”

“Unexpectedly good to see this celebration of [a] life. Perhaps too long.”

“Very moving and poignant but just a little self-indulgent”

“Self-indulgence has rarely been this charming!”

“Right, I’ve decided to be young, beautiful, successful and French and to have French, successful, beautiful and young friends!”

“Totally not suitable for an evening out on a snowy day. Keep this type of film to the classroom!”


A:18, B:14, C:4, D:0, E:1 to give 82%