“In my films I always wanted to make people see deeply. I don’t want to show things, but to give people the desire to see.”
Seamlessly inhabiting the worlds of fiction, documentary and contemporary art, Agnès Varda explored the world with a tireless curiosity for people and places.
Born in Brussels in 1928 to a Greek father and Belgian mother, her family relocated to France during the Occupation. With the exception of a few brief stints in America, Paris was the city she called home until her passing on March 29, 2019.
As a young woman Agnès studied philosophy at the Sorbonne and art history at Ecole du Louvre. Photography was her first medium and taking Santa pictures at Galleries Lafayette her first job!
In her role as the official photographer for the Théâtre National Poulaire, she documented some of France’s most prestigious stage talents but in 1951 she met Alain Resnais and her interest in cinema began to bloom.
“I thought of all my films as a woman, because I didn’t’ want to be a ‘false man’ making films. I was trying to make films about what I knew.”
There are few artists who invite you in so warmly yet challenge you to think broadly and feel deeply. As Daniel Trilling notes in Sight & Sound, “the blurring of the boundaries between art and life is absolutely crucial to Varda’s work. To watch one of her films is to be drawn gently into an entire world.”
ACMI presents a series of films which traverse the French countryside, the Parisian streets Varda called home and the sunny climes of California where she made some of her most astounding and singular works as a director.
By paying witness to many critical junctures of the 20th century and filtering these through her smart, accessible and humane world view, Agnès Varda has left us an artistic legacy that continues to inspire new audiences and reward multiple encounters.
Please note: all sessions of Viva Varda will include an introduction.
Screens at our partner venue The Capitol while ACMI at Fed Square is closed for redevelopment.