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THE BEACHES OF AGNES
aka LES PLAGES D'AGNeS
USA: Cinema Guild
UK: Artificial Eye
Cast: Agnes Varda, Rosalie Varda, Andre Lubrano, Blaise Fournier, Andree Vilar, Stephane Vilar, Christophe Vilar, Vincent Fournier, Mathieu Demy, Christophe Vallaux, Mireille Henrio, Didier Rouget, Anne-Laure Manceau, Gerry Ayres, Jim McBride
Director: Agnes Varda
Language: French (English subtitles)
USA & UK: 110 mins
UK Certificate: 18 contains strong sexualised nudity
USA Release Date: 1 July 2009 (Limited Release - New York)
UK Release Date: 2 October 2009 (Limited Release)
Beaches have always been important to Agnes Varda, as she would travel to the seaside every Easter and summer throughout her childhood. During the Second World War she was exiled in the costal town of Sete, a period she recalls with fondness as a time of endless fun. Returning to Sete during the late 50's, she would use the locale and the local fishermen as the backdrop for her remarkable first feature film, LA POINTE COURTE.
In THE BEACHES OF AGNeS, Varda returns once more to the beaches, using her early memories of the coast as a springboard for the film's meditation on her youth. Weaving photography, archive footage, scenes from her own films and present-day sequences. Varda takes us on a memorable voyage through her life, during which she confronts the joy of creation and the pain of personal loss, death and aging. It is a singular trip played out against the stirring backdrop of the post-war explosion of cultural expression in France. She knew everyone: the French New Wave set (she was married to Jacques Demy), the Black Panthers in California and even Jim Morrison, who would visit Agnes when he was in Paris. Idiosyncratic, engaging and deeply moving, THE BEACHES OF AGNeS is the autobiography of a magnificent artist and a woman of vital curiosity.
Agnes Varda was born Arlette Varda in Brussels and during 50 years of filmmaking, Agnes Varda has alternated short and feature films, fiction and documentary. Among 33, her best known films are CLEO FROM 5 TO 7 (1961), HAPPINESS (1964), VAGABOND (1985), JACQUOT DE NANTES (1990), THE GLEANERS AND I (2000). Artificial Eye plans to release CLEO FROM 5 TO 7, VAGABOND and JACQUOT DE NANTES on DVD in the upcoming months.