Lions Love ( … and Lies)
Day by day, Agnès Varda recounts the events that take place between 1 and 9 June 1968 at Villa Fake in the Hollywood hills. This is where Viva lives with her two lovers Jim and Jerry. They spend their time chatting and fooling about on sofas, next to the swimming pool or in a big bed in front of a large panoramic window. A visitor arrives from New York. » The avant-garde film-maker Shirley Clarke wants to make a film with the three of them. The undertaking fails, however, due to fights with the film industry and the film-maker’s depression. Events occurring in the outside world, the assassination of Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy and the attack on Andy Warhol, enter the villa via television and phone. In a variety of ways, Varda intermingles pop with politics, fiction with real events.«
– Retrospective Agnès Varda, arsenal – Institut für Film und Videokunst, September 2009
Lions Love (… and Lies) is not just a film about the myth of Hollywood, the hippie culture or the hype surrounding the New York underground scene, it is a feature film that uses every opportunity to break through the limitations of its genre. Agnès Varda appears several times herself in the film, sometimes very much the director, giving orders to her reluctant protagonist, sometimes she holds a cardboard camera. At the end, Viva stares silently into the camera for several minutes. And in the cinema at us, the viewers.
Born 1928 in Brussels, she made her first film when she was 26, La Pointe-Courte. In 1961, her film Cléo – from 5 to 7 came out, which won the French Critics Award. With Happiness, a film with a strongly feminist perspective, she was awarded with the Special Prize of the Jury at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1965. In 1967, she was involved in the documentary Far From Vietnam along with Claude Lelouch, Jean-Luc Godard and Chris Marker, one of the first films to take a critical look at the Vietnam war. Apart from experimental feature films, Varda turned her attention in the 70s to documentaries such as Women Reply (1975) or Ulisses (1981), for which she won a César in the category Best Short Documentary. In 1985, her film Vagabond won the Golden Lion at the Venice International Film Festival. Varda is a professor for film and documentary film at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland.
Films by Agnès Varda (Selection)
Les plages d’Agnès (Die Strände von Agnes) 2008 | Les cent et une nuits de Simon Cinéma (Hundert und eine Nacht) 1995 | Sans toit ni loi (Vogelfrei) 1985 | Ulysse 1982 | Réponses des femmes 1975 | Black Panthers 1968 | Le bonheur (Das Glück aus dem Blickwinkel des Mannes) 1965 | Cléo de 5 à 7 (Cléo – Mittwoch zwischen 5 und 7) 1961 | L’opéra Mouffe (Die Opera-Mouffe) 1958 | La Pointe Courte 1954