Saturday, February 21, 2009

Final PIFF Installment

I ended my sojourn with "The Beaches of Agnes," (France), a remembrance by the so-called grandmother of the French New Wave, Agnes Varda. Nearing 80, she set out to look back on her own life using her colorful filmmaker's palette, and the result is lovely, reflective, and a visual feast of the imagination. She has a very off-kilter way of capturing fleeting emotion and embracing the essence of her human subjects. Because she is a filmmaker and was married to Jacques Demy (the director of "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg"), the film is filled with faces you will recognize, and at various different ages, as well as scenes from her films and Demy's. This memoir succeeds where "Of Time and the City" failed--personal and whimsical, its impact sneaks up on you. (7.5)

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