Agnes Varda (born Arlette Varda on May 30, 1928 in Brussels, Belgium, and died on March 29, 2019 in Paris) was a Belgian-born French film director, screenwriter, photographer, and artist. Her ground-breaking work was critical to the growth of the prominent French New Wave film movement of the 1950s and 1960s.
Varda began her career as an assistant photographer for magazines such as Life and Paris Match before moving on to make short films. In 1959 she directed her first feature-length film, Les Carabiniers (The Soldiers), which proved to be very successful at the French box office. This led to more feature-length films being made by female directors such as herself. She continued to make films throughout the 1960s and 1970s, including two documentaries. In 2007, Varda published a book of photographs titled La Vie en Rose (Life in Pink). The book is composed of images taken between 1945 and 1995 by Varda herself or her husband Gérard Jugnot.
She won the Best Director Award at the 1965 Cannes Film Festival for her film Le Bonheur des Peuples (The People's Happiness). In 1967, Varda co-founded the influential cinema magazine Cahiers du Cinéma with Jean-Luc Godard, Alain Resnais, and others. In addition to directing films, Varda also wrote, produced, edited, and photographed many of them.
Varda, who was born in Belgium, has been dubbed the "Mother of the French New Wave." Her debut movie, LA POINTE COURTE (1956), which she wrote and directed despite having no official training, is widely regarded as the picture that sparked the movement. It was also the first international success for French cinema.
After LA POINTE COURTE, Varda made several more films, but none of them achieved the same level of fame. She did, however, continue to play an important role in the development of French cinema through her work with younger filmmakers. In 2007, she was given a special award by the President of France for her contribution to French culture.
Besides being one of the most influential filmmakers in modern French history, Varda is also famous for her activism in supporting female directors and actors, and fighting against gender stereotypes in film. She currently lives in Paris.
In addition to her film career, Varda has worked as a photographer and artist. She has exhibited her work internationally and is considered one of the key figures of the Photo Revolution in France.
Varda attended art school but dropped out to work as an assistant to photographers including Kurt Wenzel and Boris Karloff.
She made her directorial debut with LA POINTE COURTE in 1956, when she was only 25 years old.
Jean-Luc Godard sent a condolence gift to Agnes Varda's daughter after she died in March at the age of 90. That tiny gesture should have struck a chord with everyone who saw Varda's Oscar-nominated last movie, "Faces/Places," which concluded on Godard's doorstep. In it, Varda pays tribute to her friends and colleagues while looking back over her own career.
Godard and Varda became friends in 1975 when they met while filming an episode of "Le Mépris" (Contempt). They remained close until Varda's death in July 2016. Over time, their relationship evolved from friendship to something more romantic, but they never married or had children.
In addition to being a renowned film director, Varda was also a photographer whose work has been shown in many museums worldwide. She won two Oscars during her lifetime for her directing efforts. Godard has one honorary degree and has been nominated several times but has never won an award.
They made several films together including "Le Mépris", "Vagabond", "My Life to Live", "The Gleaners and I", and most recently, "Faces/Places".
Cancer Prichina smerti/An'ies Varda On Friday, a spokesperson from Varda's family confirmed her death to NPR. Her film studio said in a statement that the director and artist "died from cancer at her home on the night of March 29, 2019, surrounded by her family and friends."
Varda was 89 years old. She first came into public attention with her 1964 documentary Jazz Diary, which follows several musicians as they tour Europe. The film won the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival and has been cited as one of the first examples of music cinema.
After winning acclaim for her second feature-length film, The Girl From Paris Market Street (1967), Varda went on to direct such acclaimed documentaries as Cleopatra: A Dream of Love (1973) and Vagabond (1999).
She also appeared in films by other directors, including Jacques Demy's Les Parapluies de Paris (The Umbrellas of Paris) and Michel Deville's Lola Montes.
In addition to directing, Varda was an influential photographer who worked on projects for publications around the world. Her work has been exhibited in major museums, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
Varda was born in Brussels on January 21, 1928. She moved with her family to France when she was five years old.