Returning to the beaches which have been parts of her life, Agnès Varda invents a kind of self-portrait-documentary. Agnès stages herself among excerpts of her films, images and reportages. She shares with humor and emotion her beginnings as stage photographer, then early filmmaker of the French New Wave, her life with Jacques Demy, her feminism, her trips to Cuba, China and the USA, her life as independent producer and her family. A free and curious woman!
Agnès Varda has been called the “Grandmother of the New Wave,” a well-meaning if curious tribute for a woman who directed her first feature film at the age of 26. Born in Brussels, Varda studied literature and psychology at the Sorbonne, and art history at the École du Louvre. She’d originally wanted to be a museum curator, but a night-school course in photography changed her mind. Rapidly establishing herself as a top-rank still photographer, Varda became the official cameraperson for the Theatre Festival of Avignon and the Theatre National Populaire, and then pursued a career as a photojournalist.
Encouraged by filmmaker Alain Resnais, Varda made her movie directorial bow in 1955 with La Pointe Courte. She based the film on a William Faulkner short story, to which she was attracted because of its parallel plotlines (a recurring device in her later films). That same year, she accompanied another future New Wave director, Chris Marker, to China as visual advisor for his Dimanche… read more
Part autobiography, essay, reverie and celebration, blended through Varda’s worldly yet personal, playfully self-aware, late documentary style, reviving a thoughtful stream of memories, thoughts and cinema in a loving swansong. As gentle a reflection as you could expect from the so-called grandmother of Nouvelle Vague, for whom New Wave whimsy and Left Bank montage live on, along with the cultivated, enlightened perceptiveness of an elder cineaste.
Agnes Varda has a tipycal surrealistic visual esthetic that is really mind blowing. Although, she speaks about her memories with common decency to protect herself, not allowing us to go deeper. Only the scene of the brunch and the one with Jacques Demy is wild and sincere. Loved it though.
The Auteurs—MUBI's center for film curation—is collaborating with Agnès Varda to show the filmmaker's shorts and features online, many of which
Photo by Fabrizio Maltese/EF Press/fabriziomaltese.com. One of most exhilarating moments for us in Cannes a few weeks ago was announcing
The Pedro Costa retrospective currently underway at the Tate Modern (through October 4) occasions two pieces in the new issue of Sight &