Anges  Varda  -  The Grandmother of New Wave Cinema 

           French photographer and filmmaker Agnes varda at 89 was the oldest person to be nominated at the Oscar's, wondrously older than even the Academy awards!.  Her nomination was in the Best Documentary Category for her movie 'Faces Places' which she did in collaboration with JR (muralist and photographer).

Varda's debut 'La  Pointe Courte'  was a one hour film that held all the storm gathering on the incoming New Wave cinema, she was hailed a New Wave Prophetess. But Varda calls herself the Feminine New Wave.  She portrayed lives, thoughts and sufferings of real woman on  screen and  when  her  

movie "one sing,   the others doesn't "was selected as the opening movie at the New York Film Festival in 1997, she proclaimed that they were going to see a film about woman who were also people and focused on relationship between women. She write about the ill society, how it lacked compassion and how the poor suffered.

Her aim was to be a filmmaker who shared emotions, who brought aspects of real life to cinema, that is why her films are more often gives you the experience of  a  docu-fiction. Her husband, Jacques Demy and friend Jean Godard who were exponents of New Wave Cinema 

were her greatest supporters. The 'no film school trained' Varda who was hailed  as 'The Ancestor of New Wave Cinema' at the young age of 30 was a revolutionary who spoke, shoot and showcased real European life, especially the French life through her movies. Born in 1928 Varda was interested in art and photography from a very young age.  Though being a learned photographer, filmmaking was new to her  which she chose  out of passion, not as a career. Jean-Luc Godard, quoted that 'Photography is truth. The cinema is truth twenty-four times per second, and varda knows the essence of these truths'.  A happy, independent, energetic woman who has worked 


in the field  of cinema for 6 decades and still  counting. She was one of the few writer-directors of her time (1960s). and by the time she did 'Cleo from 5 to 7', her 3rd film, she was already a celebrity.

To shoot 'Faces and Places', her Oscar nominated movie , she travelled around the villages, unpaved roads and long lost rural areas of France with JR (muralist, street artist and photographer). They journeyed in JR's van which had a photo booth and printer. They stopped on the way to meet natives of each villages, talked to them , took their photos and left behind series of artworks pasted on bouldering’s, barns and shipping containers (this was JR's style of making art reach the most common people).  33 year old JR and  89 year old Varda had excellent  chemistry, which makes us laugh and think. At the same time, we can feel their affection, mutual respect and playfulness throughout the 

 film. The influences of her greatest  passion on photography can be observed in all her films  where her shots flow from image to image and has an essayist quality. Her concept of art is open ended it combines visual art in the form of installations that combine video, photography and sculpture. Recently she did an exhibition showcasing all these together.

A woman of tiny physique who stood tall in the cinematic world gaining her own place as a master director, photographer and writer. Film lovers will always remember her, for the carefree attitude she had towards life and her ever happy face and for all the contributions she did for  World Cinema. Agnes Varda is a Legend , a woman who can be looked upon as a role model on how to live life in your own terms and that age is not a barrier if you are a  determinant traveler onto every destiny that life takes you.                      Shruthi  Nair





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