The Beaches of Agnes

I don’t know when films became 12$.  I’m no fuddy-duddy.  I like my glimpses of glitz and hard won fame.  I know peep shows aren’t cheap.  At least not the good ones, the ones that leave you knocking your knees afterward.

What I do know is Agnes Varda is all kinds of humane glory.  12$ or no.  I’d do it again.  And I don’t say that about many moments of enlightenment, no matter how thrilling.

She shook my spine.  She made me laugh.  She slammed my eyes shut with tears.

Who is this wonder?  The under-mentioned, under celebrated female leader of the French New Wave, 81 year old giant of the Left Bank, Agnes Varda.  Jacques Demy’s lifelong flame.  Mender of fish nets.  Writer Nathalie Sarraute’s (lover?) other self?

This, the retrospective documentary Varda made of her life and career, mends a narrative from the beaches of southern France, to WWII Paris, to the woman’s lib and blank panther’s movement in 1960’s LA.  What’s more, Alain Renais appears as an animated talking orange cat.  Hilarious.  Charming.  With more innovation than all the art houses in Chelsea.  Aganes Varda has life by the throat.   She makes innovation look old.

Run. Slip. Sneak in with your dog-eared copy of “Last Year at of Marienbad.”  Go see it.  For a moment you’ll see life in a new way.  Maybe you’ll even love it.

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