Program will be introduced by Robert Dalva, editor of Lions Love (…and Lies).
When Lions Love (…and Lies) was first shown at the New York Film Festival in 1969, Vincent Canby described it as a charming “meta-Warhol movie” that successfully portrayed the “banal beauty of Los Angeles.” Today it reads as a kind of period piece — an encapsulation of a time and place that, while immediately recognizable, feels foreign and even campy. This docu-fictional film, the last of Varda’s early films shot in California, stars Viva, one of the darlings of Warhol’s Factory, playing a fictionalized version of herself engaged in a protracted ménage à trois with two men (James Rado and Gerome Ragni, the writers of the rock musical Hair) at a luxe Hollywood home. Complicating the film is the presence onscreen of director Shirley Clarke and even Varda herself, playing fictionalized versions of themselves, in a kind of semi-aware film within a film. This narrative layering of fiction and reality takes place against the political and social backdrop of late 1960s America, and several iconic historical moments find their ways into the film, including the death of Robert Kennedy and the shooting of Andy Warhol. In Lions Love (…and Lies), Varda captures the spirit of 1960s Hollywood in all of its anxious hedonism and ennui — yet she maintains her interest in human relationships underneath the hard plastic surfaces of this sunny, disorienting film.
Director: Agnès Varda
Running time: 112 minutes
Format: Digital Cinema Package
Source: Janus Films
Films and schedules may be subject to change.
Modern Cinema’s Founding Supporters are Carla Emil and Rich Silverstein. Generous support is provided by Nion McEvoy and the Susan Wildberg Morgenstein Fund.