Agnès Varda: The Beach on the Pavement

Bonnie Johnson at The Believer:

One of the most wonderful things about Varda and her camera was the way she circled back, again and again, to previous sites and subjects of her films. Among others, she maintained bonds with the fishermen of La pointe courte, in 2008 performing an anniversary tribute to honor their part in the film. She captured the scene in The Beaches of Agnès, and mutual gratitude hangs in the salt air. Around Demy’s 1990 death from AIDS, Varda not only filmed his childhood memories; she also returned to Rochefort with the cast of a film Demy shot there, making The Young Girls Turn 25 to honor The Young Girls of Rochefort. Through her returns, Varda gave these stories rich new layers. The reciprocal vulnerability between the artist and her subjects extends to viewers when, at the end of Faces Places, we see our bowl cut-rocking cat lady auteur weep in disappointment when Godard isn’t home to receive the pastries she brought him. When has a visionary drawn us in this close?

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