Varda, Agnès

Varda, Agnès änyĕs´ värdä´ [key] 1928–, French filmmaker, b. Brussels. She studied at the Sorbonne, École du Louvre, and a Paris photography school and began working as a theatrical photographer (1951–61) and photojournalist. Varda's first film, La Pointe Courte (1954), has been called the first work of France's cinematic New Wave, and she is the only female filmmaker associated with the movement. Fiercely independent, she established a reputation for originality and feminist concerns in Cleo from 5 to 7 (1961), the real-time story of a pop star awaiting a crucial medical diagnosis. Since then, she has directed some 30 films (and written many of them), which often deal with themes of isolation and loneliness. Her best-known features include Happiness, (1965) The Creatures (1966), One Sings, the Other Doesn't (1977), Vagabond (1985), and Jane B. by Agnes V. (1987). Varda has also made documentaries, e.g., Black Panthers (1968), two tributes (1991 and 1995) to her late husband, the director Jacques Demy, The Gleaners and I (2003), and The Beaches of Agnès (2008), a collagelike cinematic memoir.

See study by A. Smith (1998).

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