She’s a Broadway legend and an Emmy-winning television actress (playing Jack Donaghy’s mama on 30 Rock) — and now Elaine Stritch is the subject of a vérité-style documentary, which looks back on her colorful career. The brassy 89-year-old actress (then 87) contemplates mortality, retirement, and her domination of the stage and screen in Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me. The Chiemi Karasawa documentary raises familiar questions about career longevity and the innate compulsion to create — all of which are surely on the minds of these incredibly creative women who are also octogenarians (and a few nonagenarians). They seem unstoppable, despite what their ages would have you believe.
Often called the mother or grandmother of French New Wave cinema, Agnès Varda shaped the face of the Nouvelle vague — pre-dating it, even, with her directorial debut, 1955’s La Pointe Courte, about life and relationships in a Mediterranean fishing village. The acclaimed filmmaker is known for her social realist portraits (The Gleaners and I), and she’s also established a career as an installation artist. Varda is an icon of art house cinema, but has gone through several career rediscoveries, despite her continuous creative output.