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(aka 'The Beaches of Agnes')

Directed by Agnès Varda
France 2008

 

A reflection on art, life and the movies, The Beaches of Agnes is a magnificent film from the great Agnes Varda, director of The Gleaners and I and Cleo from 5 to 7, a richly cinematic self portrait that touches on everything from the feminist movement and the Black Panthers to the films of husband Jacques Demy (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg) and the birth of the French New Wave.

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Theatrical Release: September 3rd, 2008 - Venice Film Festival

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DVD Review: Cinema Guild - Region 1 - NTSC

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Distribution Cinema Guild - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:52:04 
Video 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.28 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s  

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio French (Dolby Digital 5.1) 
Subtitles English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Cinema Guild

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1

Edition Details:

• Two shorts by Agnes Varda on the making of the film
• "Le Lion Volatil" (12 minutes), short film by Agnes Varda starring Julie Depardieu
• Biography and Filmography
• Theatrical Trailer
• 12-Page booklet featuring production notes and essay by film critic Amy Taubin 

DVD Release Date: March 2nd, 2010

Keep Case
Chapters: 9

 

Comments:

This is quite an enjoyable little cinematic stream of consciousness from Varda. She's captured such pleasantry and it reflects back nostalgically for film fans with references to so many (Resnais, Buñuel etc. etc.). Although I wasn't anticipating it - I, very much, enjoyed my viewing.

The image from Cinema Guild is a strong one - dual-layered, anamorphic and progressive - it looks about as good as the format can produce. The aspect ratio adjusts with plenty of older photographs + vintage clips plus there are many effects (windows within windows) that seem perfectly timed to join the presentation experience together. The DVD image quality is just fine without annoying artifacts. It is perfectly clean without any digital manipulations at all.

Audio is 5.1 but doesn't require utilizing the separations to any large extent (there is some though - rain, water, wind). The French dialogue, mostly narration, is crisp, audible and clean - supported by optional English subtitles.

There are some neat supplements as well. We get two shorts by Agnes Varda (10-minutes each) on the making of The Beaches of Agnes and another, 12-minute romantic based one, "Le Lion Volatil" with Julie Depardieu involving fortune telling and the statue of a lion. There are text biography and filmography pages, a theatrical trailer and an excellent 12-page booklet featuring production notes and essay by film critic Amy Taubin.

I was very impressed - this is a much more entertaining package than I would have anticipated from the Grand Dame of French Arthouse - and I know I will definitely see it again - perhaps on a rainy day. Great job Cinema Guild - I can't wait to see more! 

Gary W. Tooze

 



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DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Distribution Cinema Guild - Region 1 - NTSC



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