The Films of Agnès Varda

The Films of Agnès Varda

2 Seasons

A founder of the French New Wave who became an international art-house icon, Agnès Varda was a fiercely independent, restlessly curious visionary whose work was at once personal and passionately committed to the world around her. In an abundant career in which she never stopped expanding the notion of what a movie can be, Varda forged a unique cinematic vocabulary that frequently blurs the boundaries between narrative and documentary, and entwines loving portraits of her friends, her family, and her own inner world with a social consciousness that was closely attuned to the 1960s counterculture, the women’s liberation movement, the plight of the poor and socially marginalized, and the ecology of our planet. This comprehensive collection is a testament to the radical vision, boundless imagination, and radiant spirit of a true original for whom every act of creation was a vital expression of her very being.

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The Films of Agnès Varda
  • La Pointe Courte

    Episode 1

    Directed by Agnès Varda • 1955 • France
    Starring Silvia Monfort, Philippe Noiret

    The great Agnès Varda’s film career began with this graceful, penetrating study of a marriage on the rocks, set against the backdrop of a small Mediterranean fishing village. Both a stylized depiction of the complic...

  • Ô saisons, ô châteaux

    Episode 2

    Directed by Agnès Varda • 1958 • France
    Starring Danièle Delorme

    Made early in Agnès Varda’s career, this lushly shot Eastmancolor short was commissioned by the national tourism board to promote the medieval castles of the Loire Valley region. It deviates from the standard travelogue format by m...

  • Du côté de la côte

    Episode 3

    Directed by Agnès Varda • 1958 • France

    As if you need any more reasons to visit the beautiful south of France, Agnès Varda celebrates the splendor of this area in a short documentary funded by the French Tourism Office. In this cheeky little film, Varda highlights the importance of tourism to...

  • L’opéra-mouffe

    Episode 4

    Directed by Agnès Varda • 1958 • France

    Pregnant with her first child, director Agnès Varda turned her camera to her immediate surroundings capturing day-to-day life along the Rue Mouffetard. Lacking synch sound and incorporating a number of unconventional techniques, this short work displays Va...

  • Les fiancés du pont Macdonald

    Episode 5

    Directed by Agnès Varda • 1962 • France

    Directed by Agnès Varda for her film CLÉO FROM 5 TO 7, this short film stars her French new wave colleagues Jean-Luc Godard, Anna Karina, Sami Frey, and Eddie Constantine.

  • Cléo from 5 to 7

    Episode 6

    Directed by Agnès Varda • 1962 • France
    Starring Corinne Marchand, Antoine Bourseiller, Dominique Davray

    Agnès Varda eloquently captures Paris in the sixties with this real-time portrait of a singer (Corinne Marchand) set adrift in the city as she awaits test results of a biopsy. A chronicle of ...

  • Salut les Cubains

    Episode 7

    Directed by Agnès Varda • 1964 • France
    Starring Michel Piccoli

    Agnès Varda constructed this invigorating travelogue from over four hundred still photographs taken during a trip to Cuba in the wake of its 1959 revolution. Through fluid montage, the people captured by her camera come to playful, ...

  • Le bonheur

    Episode 8

    Directed by Agnès Varda • 1965 • France
    Starring Jean-Claude Drouot, Claire Drouot, Marie-France Boyer

    Though married to the good-natured, beautiful Thérèse (Claire Drouot), young husband and father François (Jean-Claude Drouot) finds himself falling unquestioningly into an affair with an attrac...

  • Les créatures

    Episode 9

    Directed by Agnès Varda • 1966 • France
    Starring Catherine Deneuve, Michel Piccoli, Eva Dahlbeck

    One of Agnès Varda least-seen films is also one of her most fascinating: an eccentrically imaginative science-fiction fantasia that touches on human nature, free will, and the creative process. Worki...

  • Elsa la rose

    Episode 10

    Directed by Agnès Varda • 1966 • France
    Starring Louis Aragon, Elsa Triolet, Michel Piccoli

    Ostensibly a profile of the legendary surrealist poet Louis Aragon, this short documentary instead focuses on his wife, Elsa Triolet, a Prix Goncourt–awarded writer in her own right who nevertheless remai...

  • Uncle Yanco
    19:36
    Episode 11

    Uncle Yanco

    Episode 11

    Directed by Agnès Varda • 1968 • France

    In her effervescent first California film, Agnès Varda delves into her own family history. The short documentary UNCLE YANCO features Varda tracking down a Greek emigrant relative she’s never met, discovering an artist and kindred soul leading a bohemian l...

  • Lions Love (. . . and Lies)

    Episode 12

    Directed by Agnès Varda • 1969 • United States
    Starring Viva, Shirley Clarke, James Rado, Gerome Ragni

    Agnès Varda brings New York counterculture to Los Angeles. In a rented house in the sun-soaked Hollywood Hills, a woman and two men, Viva, of Warhol Factory fame, and James Rado and Gerome R...

  • Black Panthers

    Episode 13

    Directed by Agnès Varda • 1970 • United States

    Agnès Varda turns her camera on an Oakland demonstration against the imprisonment of activist and Black Panthers cofounder Huey P. Newton. In addition to evincing Varda’s fascination with her adopted surroundings and her empathy, this perceptive sho...

  • Réponse de femmes

    Episode 14

    Directed by Agnès Varda • 1975 • France
    Starring Agnès Varda

    This 1975 short film by Agnès Varda was commissioned by the French television channel Antenne 2, which asked seven female filmmakers each to make a film in response to the question “What is a woman?”

  • Daguerréotypes

    Episode 15

    Directed by Agnès Varda • 1975 • France
    Starring Lucien Bossy, Léonce Debrossian, Marcelle Debrossian

    Spending most of her days at home following the birth of her son but curious as ever about the people and places that surrounded her, Agnès Varda found inspiration for DAGUERRÉOTYPES just outsid...

  • One Sings, the Other Doesn't

    Episode 16

    Directed by Agnès Varda • 1977 • France
    Starring Valérie Mairesse, Thérèse Liotard, Ali Raffi

    In the early 1960s in Paris, two young women become friends. Pomme is an aspiring singer. Suzanne is a pregnant country girl unable to support a third child. Pomme lends Suzanne the money for an illegal...

  • Plaisir d’amour en Iran

    Episode 17

    Directed by Agnès Varda • 1977 • France
    Starring Valérie Mairesse, Ali Rafie

    In this 1977 short film by Agnès Varda, Pauline and Darius explore the city of Isfahan, Iran.

  • Mur Murs
    1:22:17
    Episode 18

    Mur Murs

    Episode 18

    Directed by Agnès Varda • 1981 • France

    After returning to Los Angeles from France in 1979, Agnès Varda created this kaleidoscopic documentary about the striking murals that decorate the city. Bursting with color and vitality, MUR MURS is as much an invigorating study of community and diversity ...

  • Documenteur

    Episode 19

    Directed by Agnès Varda • 1981 • France

    This small-scale fiction about a divorced mother and her child (played by Agnès Varda's own son) leading a quiet existence on L.A.'s margins was made directly after Mur Murs, and though DOCUMENTEUR is different in form and tone from that film, the two ar...

  • Ulysse
    22:29
    Episode 20

    Ulysse

    Episode 20

    Directed by Agnès Varda • 1983 • France

    In this ruminative cross-pollination of film and photography, Agnès Varda uses a mysterious still image that she took in the late fifties—of a nude man (the photographer Guy Bourdin, a friend of hers) and a toddler on a rocky beach, flanked by a dead goat ...

  • Les dites cariatides

    Episode 21

    Directed by Agnès Varda • 1984 • France

    Agnès Varda turns her camera on the sculpted female figures that grace the architecture of Paris.

  • Vagabond
    1:46:31
    Episode 22

    Vagabond

    Episode 22

    Directed by Agnès Varda • 1985 • France
    Starring Sandrine Bonnaire, Macha Méril, Stéphane Freiss

    Sandrine Bonnaire won the Best Actress César for her portrayal of the defiant young drifter Mona, found frozen to death in a ditch at the beginning of VAGABOND. Agnès Varda pieces together Mona’s sto...

  • 7 p., cuis., s. de b. . . . (à saisir)

    Episode 23

    Directed by Agnès Varda • 1984 • France
    Starring Louis Bec, Colette Bonnet, Yolande Moreau

    An ensemble performs a bizarre parody of domesticity at an abandoned Avignon hospice center in this richly surrealist experimental work.

  • T’as de beaux escaliers, tu sais

    Episode 24

    Directed by Agnès Varda • 1986 • France
    Starring Isabelle Adjani

    Isabelle Adjani narrates an architectural tribute to the Cinémathèque française on its fiftieth anniversary.