I’m a late arrival to Agnès Varda’s career and, considering she passed away earlier this year, I thought I was too late to start appreciating her filmmaking. But what her final film Varda By Agnès has taught me is that it’s never too late to share or be inspired. And because the film has been made with compassion and love, it never feels like a pretentious exercise.
Varda took great pleasure in finding identifiable humanistic aspects in her stories, and finding a way to connect those values to movie goers. Varda explains this by using examples of her work while she speaks to audiences at self-reflective stage shows. These seminars are the bulk of this documentary, and they’re flawlessly edited together with more intimate and playful interviews to tell cohesive lessons about filmmaking, narrative control, and creative mediums.
But as enjoyable as this film will be for general lovers of cinema, Varda By Agnès will be true bliss for fellow filmmakers. In fact, it should be required viewing for those visionaries. Varda By Agnès is a masterclass in empathetic, sincere storytelling accompanied by encouraging advice about how to perceive achievements and failures.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie