CINEVARDAPHOTO (Agnès Varda, 2004)

Cinévardaphoto comprises a trio of documentaries by Agnès Varda, each of which involves photographs. These short films were made at different points in Varda’s career.      The first one is amazing. “Ydessa, the Bears, and Etc.” revolves around Toronto curator Ydessa Hendeles, the daughter of Holocaust survivors, whose exhibit of voluminous photographs including teddy bears, especially […]

AGNES’S BEACHES (Agnès Varda, 2008)

Although a notch below her Vagabond (1985) and Les glaneurs et la glaneuse (2000), Belgian-born Agnès Varda’s farewell film, the autobiographical documentary Les plages d’Agnès, is her most deeply affecting piece. Throughout watching it, I was either in tears or close to tears. It isn’t too much to say that Agnès (pronounced on-YES), along with […]

LA POINTE COURTE (Agnès Varda, 1953)

Belgian-born Agnès Varda would go on to make some exceptionally beautiful French films; however, her first feature, La Pointe Courte, is a failed experiment. Far from launching the nouvelle vague, as some insist that it did, its desentimentalized version of Italian neorealism is its only connection with the French New Wave. Alain Resnais edited Varda’s […]

LIONS LOVE (Agnès Varda, 1969)

There is an exquisite moment of postmodernist self-reflexivity in Agnès Varda’s free-flowing tragicomedy Lions Love. It involves Shirley Clarke, who is playing Shirley Clarke, which is to say, herself, the New York filmmaker of The Connection (1962) and Portrait of Jason (1967), who has come to Hollywood, the town of Desi[l]lusions (what a word-play!), to […]

ONE SINGS, THE OTHER DOESN’T (Agnès Varda, 1977)

In 1962, Suzanne and photographer Jérôme can barely afford the two children they have; pregnant, Suzanne seeks money for an abortion. Pauline, a teen neighbor, secures money from a singing gig. (Jérôme commits suicide.) The two women remain friends for the ensuing fifteen years, meeting again ten years later at an abortion rights rally. Reproductive […]