Agnès Varda takes a seat on a theatre stage. This professional photographer, installation artist and pioneer of the Nouvelle Vague is an institution of French cinema but a fierce opponent of any kind of institutional thinking. In this film, she offers insights into her oeuvre, using excerpts from her work to illustrate – more associatively than chronologically – her artistic visions and ideas. Her lively, anecdote-rich and clever talk is divided into two sections.
Firstly, she elucidates her ‘analogue period’ from 1954 to 2000, in which the director is in the foreground. This was the young woman who set out to reinvent cinema. In the second part, Agnès Varda focuses on the years from 2000 to 2018, and shows how she uses digital technology to look at the world in her own, unique way.
About the director: Agnès Varda (30 May 1928 – 29 March 2019) was a Belgian-born French film director, photographer and artist. Her work was pioneering for, and central to, the development of the widely influential French New Wave film movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Her films focused on achieving documentary realism, addressing feminist issues, and/or producing other social commentary, with a distinctive experimental style. Varda’s work employed location shooting in an era when the limitations of sound technology made it easier and more common to film indoors, with constructed sets and painted backdrops of landscapes, rather than the real thing. Her use of non-professional actors was also unconventional in the context of 1950s French cinema. Among other awards and nominations, she received an honorary Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, a Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, an Academy Honorary Award, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.
Selected Filmography: Cléo from 5 to 7 (1962), Happiness (1965), The Creatures (1966), Far from Vietnam (1967), Lions Love (1969), One Sings, the Other Doesn’t (1977), Vagabond (1985), Kung Fu Master (1987), The Young Girls Turn 25 (1993), A Hundred and One Nights (1994), The World of Jacques (1995), Some Widows of Noirmoutier (2006), Faces Places (2017) and others.