The Beaches of Agnes

I’ve not seen many of Agnes’ films, but I think my brain is in love.  If Agnes Varda is anything like the woman we observe in THE BEACHES OF AGNES, then she is ever so much more than pure delight.  My head is ready to explode rainbows!  This film is something of an 80th birthday present to herself and it somehow feels unearned.  If she is leaving behind a celluloid memoir or an accounting of her life, then she should look something more like a shriveled old lady whose days have grown shorter.  Instead she is vital and vibrant (though ever tender towards the dementia that has struck so many of her childhood friends). 

Agnes’ is a beauty without warts.  She doesn’t wince at sad truths and painful episodes – she tells them evenly and without pride.  And the good times – of which there are many, many more – are ecstatic.  The whole film gives the impression of dreams really coming true.  Varda stages the images that have most powerfully captured her imagination throughout her life.  There is something so poetic and delicious about this acting out of dreams in the flesh.  To be a courtesean inside a whale or a house made out of film!  Her ambitions are nothing more than reveries.  I have more than 50 years to go, but I wonder what I will be at 80.  How will I play and what visions will I see?  What will I even have the capacity to communicate?  I love this film and the woman who made it.  I want to be this filmmaker and to live within the wonderful beaches of Agnes.  And now I’ve finally had just enough gulps of wine to approximate the swooning feeling this film gave me.  Bliss!


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