After her passing in 2019, French director Agnès Varda left a pioneering, deeply personal oeuvre. Her connections and collaborations had always influenced her work: her marriage to Jacques Demy, her status as “mother” of the French New Wave, her co-directorship with artist JR. The personal reflections in her final documentaries, particularly The Beaches of Agnès (2008) and her final film Varda par Agnès (2019) invite new consideration of these sometimes friendly, sometimes fraught relationships between Varda and the men who made films around and alongside her. In undertaking this reconsideration, this essay poses broader questions about Varda’s legacy and examines what both film studies and popular cinephilia can learn from her singular, feminine approach to screen art.
- French New Wave