Happy birthday, Agnes Varda

If I had one of those fantasy dinner parties where I could invite any five people in the world, Agnès Varda would be on my list. She is someone I admire as a filmmaker, as a woman who made incredible work in her field at a time when few women were doing so, and as a person who just seems to be an utter delight. (Seriously, just watch her 2000 documentary The Gleaners & I…the moments when she enters the picture to contemplate what she’s learning as she makes the film are so warm, smart, and endearing. She’s great.) Agnès Varda turns 84 today, and is still making work that is varied and beautiful.

I’ve written once before about my admiration for Varda’s 1962 film Cleo From 5 to 7. I found this clip today of her speaking sometime in the mid-1960s about her early career, up to and including Cleo. I love what she has to say about its viewpoint:

I actually have not seen much of Varda’s early work, which seems the perfect motivation to have her be a Director of the Month. No, I haven’t forgotten that little project….just got overwhelmed the last couple of months. To make up for April and May, stay tuned for a French New Wave triple-whammy in June: Varda, Godard, and one more I haven’t decided on….Chabrol, maybe? If anyone has a strong opinion, please say so in the comments! There are SO MANY things I haven’t seen yet.

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Other projects:


Downton Gabby: podcasting about Downton Abbey from a funny, foul-mouthed, feminist perspective

Quick Lit: reading one short story a day in 2015

Grand Dames: collecting sundry achievements of admirable women

The MacGuffin: archive of my days as a film critic

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