Agnès Varda, born 30 May 1928, is a French film director, born in Belgium, who has spent most of her working life in France. Her films, photographs, and art installations focus on documentary realism, feminist issues, and social commentary with a distinctive experimental style.
Film historians have cited Varda’s work as central to the development of the French New Wave film movement; her uses of location shooting and non-professional actors were unconventional in the context of 1950s French cinema.
Varda is a significant figure in modern French cinema. Her career pre-dates the start of the Nouvelle vague (French New Wave), and La Pointe Courte contains many elements specific to that movement. While working at a photographer, Varda became interested in making a film, although she stated that she knew little about the medium and had only seen around twenty films by the age of twenty-five. She later said she wrote her first screenplay “just the way a person writes his first book. When I’d finished writing it, I thought to myself: ‘I’d like to shoot that script,’ and so some friends and I formed a cooperative to make it.” She found the filmmaking process difficult because it didn’t allow the same freedom as writing a novel; however she said that her approach was instinctive and feminine, stating that “I’m not at all a theoretician of feminism, I did all that – my photos, my craft, my film, my life – on my terms, my own terms, and not to do it like a man.” In an interview with The Believer, Varda stated that she wanted to make films that related to her time (in reference to La Pointe Courte), rather than focusing on traditions or classical standards.
In 1977, Varda founded her own production company, Cine-Tamaris, in order to have more control in shooting and editing.
In 2013, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art held Varda’s first U.S. exhibition called “Agnes Varda in Californialand.” The exhibition featured a sculptural installation, several photographs, and short films, and was inspired by time she spent in Los Angeles in the 1960s.
Among her notable films include La Pointe Courte (1955), Cléo from 5 to 7 (1962), Vagabond (1985), and Faces Places (co-director, 2017).
[via Wikipedia and IMDB]