Combustible Celluloid
With: Agnès Varda, Sandrine Bonnaire, Hervé Chandès, Nurith Aviv, Esther Levesque
Written by: Agnès Varda, Didier Rouget
Directed by: Agnès Varda, Didier Rouget
MPAA Rating: NR
Language: French, with English subtitles
Running Time: 115
Date: 01/09/2020

Varda by Agnès (2019)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Self Life

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The world lost filmmaker Agnes Varda in March of 2019, and it was one of those deaths that affect film fans deeply. Fans of her films might have felt like they knew her, and those of us lucky enough to have interviewed her can attest that, yes, you did. She had an open-hearted curiosity about the world, and a genuine honesty about how she might fit into it. She was a pint-sized force of nature, formidable and endearing, marching to work in her trademark bowl-shaped hairdo, unafraid to try just about anything artistic, in an attempt to see and know people more clearly. The documentary Varda by Agnès is her official final work, a straightforward and yet endlessly fascinating look at her career. She simply sits on a stage, age 90, in front of a handful of students and shows clips of her work, but her own readings of the things she has done show a desire to continue learning and exploring. It's both a perfect coda to her career, as well as a perfect starting place for newcomers. See it, and then go and check out her masterpieces, such as: Cleo from 5 to 7, Vagabond, The Gleaners & I, The Beaches of Agnes, and Faces Places.

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