Film Series

Modern Cinema: Agnès Varda

An Irresistible Force

January 9–March 21, 2020
Phyllis Wattis Theater, Floor 1

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Filmmaker Agnès Varda (1928–2019) forged a lasting place in film history as a member of the French New Wave — the sole woman director in the movement. In her more than sixty-year career, she effortlessly traversed between feature-length fiction, documentary, and short films. Varda examined people on the margins of society with compassion and curiosity, and made the case for feminism in her films from the 1960s and 1970s. She later embraced digital cinema, evolving to create personal essay films, collaborate with younger artists such as JR, and push her practice towards video-based installation art. On the subjects with whom she engaged, she stated, “I love filming real people; I love to connect with the kind of people we don’t know so well.”

A profoundly imaginative filmmaker, she took inspiration from literature, music, art, single images, real life, cats, and even heart-shaped potatoes. Discovery and provocation were driving forces in the storytelling philosophy she called cinécriture, where the camera and editing served as her pen in visual essays and stories that elevated understanding of society and humanity, hallmarks of her films.

Join us for this Bay Area exclusive retrospective of films by Agnès Varda organized in partnership with Berkeley Art Museum Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA).

Modern Cinema’s Founding Supporters are Carla Emil and Rich Silverstein. Support is provided by Nion McEvoy and the Susan Wildberg Morgenstein Fund.

Header Image: Agnès Varda, Varda by Agnès (still), 2019; image: courtesy Janus Films