Films & Schedules

  • Les Plages d'Agnès
    The Beaches of Agnès

  • Agnès Varda

109 minutes

Production Company:
Ciné Tamaris
Agnès Varda
Production Designer:
Daniel Cerny
Helene Louvart
Jean Baptiste Morain, Baptiste Filloux
Emmanuel Soland

Canadian Distributor:
Seville Pictures
International Sales Agent:
Roissy Films

TIFF Tags: Women  Documentary 

Wednesday September 1007:15PM VARSITY 8 Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Thursday September 1106:15PM AMC 10 Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist

“If you open people, you'll find landscapes. If you open me, you'll find beaches.”

– Agnès Varda

When one thinks of the major figures of postwar cinema, the name Agnès Varda immediately springs to mind. Her body of work in both fiction and documentary is defined by a wealth of innovation and imagination. Irrepressible and enquiring, she is a force of nature, and even at eighty shows no signs of slowing down. Her new film, a moving contemplation of her life and career, is a reminder that there are few artists capable of such eloquence in cinema.

Varda takes beaches as her point of departure. Though she was not born near the ocean, she would travel to the seaside every Easter and summer during her childhood, and her memories of these trips act as a springboard for the film's meditation on her early life. She recalls her wartime exile to the coastal village of Sète as a period of endless fun and life jackets. While a young adult, Varda began her career as a photographer before raising a family with her husband, Jacques Demy (best known for Les Parapluies de Cherbourg) and eventually turning to filmmaking. Returning to Sète over a decade after the end of the war, she used the locale and its fishermen as the backdrop for her remarkable first feature film, La Pointe courte.

Varda weaves photographs, vintage footage, scenes from her films and present-day sequences into 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 exciting context of the postwar explosion of cultural expression in France. She knew everyone: her colleagues in the French New Wave, the Black Panthers in California and even Jim Morrison, who would visit when in Paris. Idiosyncratic, engaging and deeply moving, Les Plages d'Agnès is the autobiography of a magnificent artist and a woman of vital curiosity.

Agnès Varda presents La Pointe courte in the Festival's Dialogues: Talking with Pictures series this year.

Piers Handling

Agnès Varda was born in Brussels and is a renowned figure in modern film history. Her first feature, La Pointe courte (54), was one of the key precursor films of the French New Wave. Select films include Cléo de 5 à 7 (62), Le Bonheur (65), L'Une chante, l'autre pas (77), Sans toit ni loi (85), Jacquot de Nantes (91), Les Glaneurs et la glaneuse (00), Cinévardaphoto (04) and Les Plages d'Agnès (08).

Cadillac People's Choice Award