The Beaches of Agnes (18)

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The Independent Culture

This patchwork self-portrait charts the life and work of the French New Wave director Agnès Varda: it's basically "bits of memory, jumbled up", interwoven with her special fondness for the Belgian coast where she grew up.

Varda, who was nearing her 80th birthday when she made this, started out as a photographer before moving into filmmaking, her subjects ranging from Vietnam and the Black Panthers to music and Jacques Demy, her late husband, whose memory she enshrined in her 1990 film Jacquot. The woman herself comes over as impish, genial, engaged, a lover of oddities and a haunter of fleamarkets – like Autolycus in Shakespeare, she's "a snapper-up of unconsidered trifles", as her cluttered Parisian apartment attests. There's not much discipline and it's way too long, but in common with her best work, it has a dreamy sort of charm.