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agnes_varda

Agnès Varda

France

Biography

Born in Ixelles in Brussels in 1928, Agnes Varda spent her childhood in Belgium with her four brothers and sisters. The war in 1940 moved the family to the south of France.

She spent her adolescence in Sète and later Paris where she took her baccalaureate, afterwards studying at the Louvre and then photography at night school in Vaugirard. She has lived on Daguerre street (Rue Daguerre) in Paris in the 14th arrondissement since 1951.

Varda became photographer for Jean Vilar, founder of the Avignon festival in 1948, and later for the People’s National Theatre (TNP) (the film star Gerard Philipe shined there among others).

She held her first solo exhibition in her home in 1954, followed by several reportage missions in China and Cuba. Over the course of her travels and via the people she met, she produced several portraits of both ordinary and famous people of her time.

Without any training, Agnès Varda moved to the medium of cinema. She created her own small company Cine-Tamaris to produce and direct her first feature length film, La Pointe Courte, which earnt her the title of ‘The Grand Mother of the New Wave’.

Her most well-known films include: Cleo from 5 to 7, Happiness (Le Bonheur – Silver Bear at Berlin Film Festival), Vagabond (Sans Toit Ni Loi - Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival), Jacquot (Jacquot de Nantes), The Gleaners and I (Les Glaneurs et la Glaneuse - Golden Prize Chicago) and The Beaches of Agnès (Les Plages d’Agnès).

Married to film director Jacques Demy (deceased in 1990), their daughter Rosalie Varda-Demy is a costume designer and their son Mathieu Demy, an actor and director.

They spent several years in Los Angeles, where Agnes filmed Lions Love (…and Lies), Uncle Yanco and Black Panthers in the 1960s, then Mur Murs and An Emotion Picture (Documenteur) in the 1980s. In 2003, Agnès Varda launched her third career as a visual artist. 7

Her installations were shown at the Venice Biennale and Lyon Biennale of Contemporary Art, SMAK in Gent, Art 41 Basel, the Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain and Martine Aboucaya Gallery in Paris.

Contemporary Centers and Paul Valéry Museum in Sète. Her Broken Portraits series was shown at Nathalie Obadia Gallery in Brussels.

In 2008, The Beaches of Agnes, a poetic and playful auto-biographical film, resonated with the public and won the French César award for best documentary.

In 2010-11, she directed a documentary series Agnès Varda from Here to There. Chronicling an open journey and meetings with contemporary artists. These 5 episodes of 45 minutes in length were shown on ARTE channel in December 2011, then on DVD.

In March and April 2012 CAFA Art Museum in Beijing and Hubei Museum of Art in Wuhan made a tribute to her work of art, showing her unknown photographs taken in China in 1957 and many of her contemporary installations.

From June till August 2012, she participates to the big exhibition « Le voyage à Nantes » in France with two new video installations Des chambres en ville.

In July « La Rochelle Film Festival » in France will show a retrospective of her films and her installation Patatutopia, with photographs.

Filmography:

La Pointe Courte (86', France, 1956)
O saisons, ô châteaux (20', France, 1958)
La cocotte d'azur (10', France, 1958)
Du côté de la côte (25, France, 1958)
L'opera-mouffe/Diary of a Pregnant Woman (16', France, 1958)
Les fiancés du pont Mac Donald ou (Méfiez-vous des lunettes noires) (5', France, 1961)
Cléo de 5 à 7/Cleo from 5 to 7 (90', France/Italy, 1962)
Salut les Cubains (30', France/Cuba, 1963)
Le Bonheur (79', France, 1965)
Les créatures/The Creatures (92', France/Sweden, 1966)
Elsa la rose (20, France, 1966)
Loin du Vietnam/Far from Vietnam (120', France, 1967)
Oncle Yanco (22', USA, 1967)
Black Panthers (31', France, 1968)
Lions Love (110', USA/France, 1969)
Nausicaa (94', France, 1970)
Réponse de femmes/Women Reply: Our Bodies Our Sex (8', France, 1975)
Daguerréotypes (80', West Germany/France, 1976)
Plaisir d'amour en Iran (6', France, 1976)
L'une chante, l'autre pas/One Sings, the Other Doesn't (120', France, 1977)
Mur Murs (80', France, 1981)
Documenteur (65', France, 1981)
Ulysse (22', France, 1982)
Une minute pout une image (2', France, 1983)
Les dites cariatides/The So-Called Caryatids (12', France, 1984)
7p., cuis., s. de b., ... à saisir (28', France, 1984)
Histoire d'une vieille dame/The Story of an Old Lady (4', France, 1985)
Sans toit ni loi/Vagabond (105', France, 1985)
T'as de beaux escaliers, tu sais (3', France, 1986)
Kung-fu master/Le petit amour (80', France, 188)
Jane B. par Agnès V./Jane B. for Agnes V. (97', France, 1988)
Jacquot de Nantes (118', France, 1991)
Les demoiselles ont eu 25 ans (64', France, 1993)
Les cent et une nuits de Simon Cinéma/One Hundred and One Nights (101', France, 1995)
L'univers de Jacques Demy (90', France, 1995)
Les glaneurs et la glaneuse/The Gleaners and I (82', France, 2000)
Deux ans apres/Two Years Later (64', France, 2001)
Hommage à Zgougou (et salut à Sabine Mamou)/Homage to Zgougou the Cat (2', France, 2002)
Le lion volatil (12', France, 2003)
Ydessa, les ours et etc./Ydessa, the Bears and Etc. (44', France, 2004)
Cinévardaphoto (96', France, 2004)
Quelques veuves de Noirmoutier (69', France, 2006)
Les plages d'Agnès/The Beaches of Agnès (110, France, 2008)

BLACK_PANTHERS_1

BLACK PANTHERS

BLACK PANTHERS (Orig.) / 1968 / France / 30 min

This film was shot during the summer of 1968 in Oakland, California around the meetings organized by the Black Panthers Party to free Huey Netwon, one of their leaders, and to turn his trial into a political debate...

Detail…

DAGUERREOTYPES_1

DAGUERRÉOTYPES

DAGUERRÉOTYPES (Orig.) / 75 / France / 75 min

Daguerréotypes is not a film about the Rue Daguerre (a picturesque street in the fourteenth district of Paris where I live), it is a film about one block of that street (between the number 70 and the number 90)...

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LOPERA_MOUFFE_1

Diary of a Pregnant Woman

L’OPÉRA-MOUFFE (Orig.) / 1958 / France / 17 min

The diary of a pregnant woman in a neighborhood called la Mouffe (on rue Mouffetard in Paris). The market, the bums, the drunks…

Detail…

DOCUMENTEUR_1

DOCUMENTEUR

DOCUMENTEUR (Orig.) / 1981 / France / 63 min

In Los Angeles, Emilie wanders in the shadows of her emotions. She is obsessed with words, she works in front of the ocean...

Detail…

ELSA_LA_ROSE_1

ELSA LA ROSE

ELSA LA ROSE (Orig.) / 1965 / France / 20 min

Images and poems of the celebrated couple Louis Aragon and Elsa Triolet...

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LA_POINTE_COURTE_1

LA POINTE COURTE

LA POINTE COURTE (Orig.) / 1954 / France / 80 min

There are two parts to this film: sequences of life in the fishing village of La Pointe Courte (a government inspector's visit, the death of a child) alternate with others following a couple...

Detail…

LUNIVERS_DE_JACQUES_DEMY_1

L’UNIVERS DE JACQUES DEMY

L’UNIVERS DE JACQUES DEMY (Orig.) / 1993 / France / 90 min

After doing a fiction film about Jacques’ childhood (Jacquot de Nantes), my idea was to make a documentary—a relatively objective one—about Jacques Demy, as an adult and a filmmaker...

Detail…

MUR_MURS_1

MUR MURS

MUR MURS (Orig.) / 81 / France / 80 min

Venturing from Venice Beach to Watts, Varda looks at the murals of Los Angeles as backdrop to and mirror of the city’s many cultures...

Detail…

QUELQUES_VEUVES_1

QUELQUES VEUVES DE NOIRMOUTIER

QUELQUES VEUVES DE NOIRMOUTIER (Orig.) / 2006 / France / 70 min

The film is about the widows on the island Noirmoutier...

Detail…

SALUT_LES_CUBAINS_1

SALUT LES CUBAINS

SALUT LES CUBAINS (Orig.) / 1963 / France / 30 min

Four years after Fidel Castro came to power, Agnès Varda brought back from Cuba 1,800 photos and used them to make an educational and amusing documentary...

Detail…

LES_PLAGES_DAGNES_1

THE BEACHES OF AGNÈS

LES PLAGES D’AGNES (Orig.) / 2008 / France / 110 min

Returning to the beaches which have been parts of her life, Agnès Varda invents a kind of self-portrait-documentary...

Detail…

LES_GLANEURS _1

The Gleaners and I

LES GLANEURS ET LA GLANEUSE (Orig.) / 1999 / France / 82 min

An intimate, picaresque inquiry into French life as lived by the country's poor and its provident, as well as by the film's own director, Agnes Varda...

Detail…

LES_DITES_CARIATIDES_1

THE SO-CALLED CARYATIDS

LES DITES CARIATIDES (Orig.) / 1984 / France / 13 min

Women statues, human columns, the Caryatids of Paris...

Detail…

DEUX_ANS_APRES_1

Two years later

DEUX ANS APRÈS (Orig.) / 2001 / France / 64 min

In 2000, Agnès Varda made her much-praised documentary LES GLANEURS ET LA GLANEUSE / THE GLEANERS AND I, filming gleaners who live on discarded or left food...

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UNCLE_YANCO_1

UNCLE YANCO

UNCLE YANCO (Orig.) / 1967 / France / 22 min

This is a portrait of the painter Jean Varda, my uncle...

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REPONSE_DE_FEMMES_1

WOMEN REPLY: OUR BODIES, OUR SEX

RÉPONSE DE FEMMES (Orig.) / 1975 / France / 8 min

To the question “What is a woman?” posed by a television station, a few women filmmakers have responded, including Agnès Varda...

Detail…

YDESSA_1

YDESSA, THE BEARS AND ETC.

YDESSA, LES OURS et ETC... (Orig.) / 2004 / France / 44 min

In two huge rooms, discover hundreds of old photographs: children in their Sunday best, families gathered, groups of friends, athletes or colleagues, etc., and discover that in each picture we also see a teddy bear…

Detail…



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