Agnès Varda

"Independent and original, she is one of the most important filmmakers of the nouvelle vague, with a sharp, highly personal vision of both people and life, a feeling for the eternal drama reflected in the most direct actuality (La Point courte, Cléo de 5 à 7) and a gentle irony (the shorts O saisons, O château, Opera Mouffe)." - Georges Sadoul (Dictionary of Film Makers, 1972)

Agnès Varda

Director / Screenwriter / Producer / Editor / Cinematographer
(1928- ) Born May 30, Brussels, Belgium
Top 250 Directors / 21st Century's Top 50 Directors

Key Production Country: France
Key Genres: Documentary, Drama, Short Films, Psychological Drama, Marriage Drama, Biography, Romantic Drama, Essay Film, Comedy Drama
Key Collaborators: Joanna Bruzdowicz (Composer), Janine Verneau (Editor), Marie-Jo Audiard (Editor), Jean Rabier (Cinematographer), Michel Legrand (Composer), Catherine Deneuve (Leading Actress), Mag Bodard (Producer), Patrick Blossier (Cinematographer), Stephane Krausz (Cinematographer), Georges Strouvé (Cinematographer), Francois Wertheimer (Leading Character Actor), Michel Piccoli (Leading Character Actor)

"Agnès Varda’s startlingly individualistic films have earned her the title ‘‘grandmother of the New Wave’’ of French filmmaking. Her statement that a filmmaker must exercise as much freedom as a novelist became a mandate for New Wave directors, especially Chris Marker and Alain Resnais. Varda’s first film, La Pointe courte, edited by Resnais, is regarded, as Georges Sadoul affirms, as "the first film of the French nouvelle vague. Its interplay between conscience, emotions, and the real world make it a direct antecedent of Hiroshima, mon amour"... Varda’s reputation as a filmmaker dazzles and endures." - Louise Heck-Rabi (International Dictionary of Film and Filmmakers, 2000)
"Agnès Varda has been dubbed the grandmother of the nouvelle vague. Her 1954 debut , La pointe courte, was an iconoclastic synthesis of ragged documentary and Bergmanesque fiction that ran counter to the French tradition of quality cinema, controversially using nonprofessional actors and real locations (as opposed to studio sets)... She essayed a series of documentaries before Cléo from 5 to 7 (1961). Along with Le bonheur (1965), a visually sensuous exploration of a love triangle, it cemented Varda's reputation as one of the most important women directors in the history of cinema." - Lloyd Hughes (The Rough Guide to Film, 2007)
"Agnès Varda is a major force in the French New Wave who happily has remained true to her vision as an independent and uncompromising artist, has readily adapted to technological change in the cinema, and is still active today as a digital filmmaker with a wide audience... Varda is as up to date and modern as many of her younger colleagues, and the grandmother of the New Wave continues to inspire a new generation of filmmakers." - Wheeler Winston Dixon (501 Movie Directors, 2007)
"Agnès Varda used the skills she honed early in her career as a photographer to create some of the most nuanced, thought-provoking films of the past fifty years. She is widely believed to have presaged the French new wave with her first film, La Pointe Courte, long before creating one of the movement’s benchmarks, Cléo from 5 to 7. Later, with Le bonheur and Vagabond, Varda further shook up art-house audiences, challenging bourgeois codes with her inscrutable characters and offering effortlessly beautiful compositions and editing. Now working largely as a documentarian, Varda remains one of the essential cinematic poets of our time and a true visionary." - The Criterion Collection
"You know, the boundaries between contemporary art and cinema are so rigid. It's unbelievable. The film critics don't know my artwork and the art world doesn't know my films." - Agnès Varda
TSPDT Guide
Highly Recommended
Le Bonheur (1965) , The Beaches of Agnès (2008)
Recommended
Cléo from 5 to 7 (1961) , Vagabond (1985) , Jacquot de Nantes (1991), The Gleaners & I (2000)
Worth a Look
La Pointe Courte (1954), Du côté de la côte (1958), Fiancés du pont mac Donald ou (1961), Les Creatures (1966), Loin du Vietnam (1967) [also directed by Joris Ivens, William Klein, Claude Lelouch, Jean-Luc Godard, Chris Marker & Alain Resnais], Ulysse (1982), Kung-fu Master! (1987), The World of Jacques Demy (1995), The Gleaners & I: Two Years Later (2002)
Acclaimed Films / IMDB Filmography
1,000 Greatest Films 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films
Amazon Products
Films / Books
    Les Creatures
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