Lions, Love (…and Lies) (Lions Love) (1969)

AGNES VARDA

Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5/USA, 1969Screenplay by Agnès VardaCinematography by Produced by Agnès Varda.  Music by Production Design by Film Editing by , .

Agnès Varda came to Los Angeles with husband Jacques Demy when opportunity drew him there in the late sixties, and in those years managed to add some vibrant and unusual works to her own incredible filmography.  Among them is her version of an Andy Warhol counterculture film, focusing on , and (the latter two now most famous for having written the stage musical Hair) as a threesome living a happy and listless bohemian life in their groovy suburban home. Documentarian plays a fictional version of herself coming to sunny Tinseltown to meet with producers about a movie project that she doesn’t believe will come off, as she has never made anything particularly commercial, and her visit and the doubts it causes her are about as much of a plot as you’ll get from this otherwise formless experiment. The techniques that fans of the “godmother of the New Wave” are familiar with are here, particularly her breaking the fourth wall on occasion, but there’s no denying that this isn’t Varda at her most focused or fascinating:  a great deal of the film is unremarkably boring and doesn’t have the verve that her later California films like Mur Murs and Documenteur would feature.

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