Agnès Varda (below) such a nonstop delight? This whirlwind of energy and ideas and connections -- filmmaker, documentarian, artist, raconteur and widow of another fine filmmaker, Jacques Demy -- has a (relatively) new series of documentaries, made for and shown on French television back in 2011, and titled AGNES VARDA: From Here to There (Agnès Varda: de ci de là).
Film Society of Lincoln Center at 6pm in the Film Center Amphitheater, where it will screen free of charge. Tickets will be distributed one hour prior to performance time at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, only one ticket per person, and you can expect a line to form somewhat early. (If you miss its FSLC screening or live elsewhere around our huge country, the series will begin showing on the SundanceNOW DOC Club in June -- the best reason I can imagine to join this excellent documentary content provider.)
Chris Marker, and, as usual, anyone who tried this, vis-a-vis the late filmmaker, comes a cropper. As much as I love Marker's work, the man himself was so bent on keeping as much of himself and his own personality out of view that Agnès can only play around a bit to little avail (she does some cute things with Marker's cats) and then we move on.
Anouk Aimée and Michel Piccoli for a celebration of M. Demy. Then we meet many more artists even more interesting than the mysterious Mr. Marker, though their work may be less so. We see collage, installations, singers, painters. "I wonder what happened before that?" Varda remarks of a photo (above) we're just then viewing. And then she shows us an entire "before" video of these same people. She's such a little devil!
Manoel de Oliveira, whose Gebo and the Shadow only just opened here, turns up in this episode, too, telling us that "Reality is a dramatization organized by society." Interesting. He also notes that "Solitude is something I have no experience with," and then does a fine Charlie Chaplin impersonation and some splendid fencing (below), using his cane. What a guy! (What an 102-year-old guy! At the time, actually: he's now 105.)
The Beaches of Agnes. And then it's off to Brussles for a Magritte celebration! A highlight here is the woman journalist who comes to interview Varda. She is bald. Of course Agnès wants to know more about this, and so turns the tables and interviews her.
Jean-Louis Trintignant (below) and hear that famous actor read poetry and then speak quietly with Varda. We learn about fishing, too, and some odd facts: "Did you know that 90% of all fish are caught dead?"
Carlos Reygadas and a visit to Frida Kahlo's home.
The Cinema Guild and running a total of three hours and 45 minutes -- is a fine place to make her acquaintance.