“If we opened people up, we’d find landscapes. If we opened me up, we’d find beaches.” Originally intended to be Agnès Varda’s farewell to filmmaking, this enchanting self-portrait, made in her eightieth year, is a freewheeling journey through her life, career, and artistic philosophy. Revisiting the places that shaped her—from the North Sea beaches of Belgium where she spent her childhood to the Mediterranean village where she shot her first film to the boardwalks of Los Angeles where she lived with her husband Jacques Demy—Varda reflects on a lifetime of creation and inspiration, successes and setbacks, heartbreak and joy. Replete with images of wonder and whimsy—the ocean reflected in a kaleidoscope of mirrors, the streets of Paris transformed into an urban sand beach, the filmmaker herself ensconced in the belly of a whale—The Beaches of Agnès is the record of a life lived fully and passionately in the name of cinema.
With his lush and sensual visuals, pitch-perfect soundtracks, and soulful romanticism, Wong Kar Wai has established himself as one of the defining auteurs of contemporary cinema.
Four charming comedies from Eric Rohmer.
Melvin Van Peebles’s edgy, angsty, romantic first feature could never have been made in America. Unable to break into a segregated Hollywood, Van Peebles decamped to France, taught himself the language, and wrote a number of books in French, one of which, La permission, would become his stylistically innovative feature debut.
Melvin Van Peebles
DCP, Blu-ray, DVD
A triumph at the 2020 Berlin International Film Festival, the revelatory debut feature from codirectors (and twin brothers) Arie and Chuko Esiri is a heartrending and hopeful portrait of everyday human endurance in Lagos, Nigeria.