Agnès Varda

Agnès Varda

Honored by many with the title of Grandmother of the French New Wave, filmmaker Agnes Varda was born in Ixelles, Belgium. Though she would relocate to Paris to earn her bachelor's in psychology and literature at the Sorbonne, Varda eventually became interested in photography, and her talent with a camera would prove quite uncanny when she was brought on as the official photographer for the Théâtre National Populaire in 1951. Eventually, Varda became even more intrigued by filmmaking, and first tried her hand at it by directing the film "La Pointe Courte" (1954). The highly abstract tale of a couple's crumbling relationship is now widely considered the first film made in the style of the French New Wave-though it would be years before the movement began in earnest, initially placing Varga amongst the voices of the Left Bank Cinema. By the time she directed "Cleo from 5 to 7" (1962) however, the New Wave was well underway and Varda was one of its most prominent figures. She would eventually found her own production company, Cine-Tamaris, in 1977, and released her first film through it, "One Sings, the Other Doesn't" (1977) that same year. She would remain an active presence in the realm of French art house cinema for decades to come, directing films like the critically lauded "Vagabond" (1985) and the innovative, non-linear documentary "The Gleaners & I" (2000). In 2017, Varda collaborated with the French artist JR, co-directing the documentary "Faces Places" (2017), which found them traveling the French countryside, creating portraits of those they met on their journey. Agnes Varda died in 2019. She was 90 years old.