Varda by Agnès ★★★½

Agnes Varda was a genius. CLEO FROM 5 TO 7, VAGABOND and THE GLEANERS AND I are three of the greatest films ever made. VARDA BY AGNES, a documentary overview of her career and her final film (completed shortly before her death), is worth a look but expectations should be adjusted: large sections of this were shot using multi-camera setups at two Q&A sessions with a live audience and feel more like DVD supplements than a film proper - especially when Varda is discussing and showing clips from more recent work like THE GLEANERS AND I, THE BEACHES OF AGNES and FACES PLACES. The sequences devoted to CLEO FROM 5 TO 7 and VAGABOND, in which she brings real insight to the deep structure of each film, are more interesting. But what really makes this valuable are the sections devoted to Varda’s photography and late-career shift to multi-media installation artist.