The filmmaker Agnès Varda surrounded by brooms

Viva Varda!: Sneak Preview

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Viva Varda! (2023), the first documentary on Agnès Varda delves into the unique radicalism of this pioneering artist chronicling her entire career spanning more than seven decades. With intimate interviews and previously unseen archival material director Pierre-Henri Gibert weaves a compelling portrait of this New Wave icon.  

Agnès Varda (1928–2019), was a film director, screenwriter, photographer, and visual artist. Born in Belgium, she studied art history and photography, working as a professional photographer before making her first feature film in 1954 at the age of 26, the ultra-low budget independent film La Pointe Courte.

Her pioneering work was central to the development of the widely influential French New Wave film movement of the late 1950s and 1960s. Drawing on art history, literature, and philosophy, her films, photographs, and art installations focus on documentary realism, feminist issues, and social commentary with a distinctive experimental style. She imposed herself as a free, iconoclastic woman with her finger on the pulse of her times. While she often portrayed and featured herself in her own films, for the first time ever, this documentary provides a profoundly new look at the life and work of this exceptional artist who has become a source of inspiration for a whole new generation of filmmakers.  

Given unfettered access to Varda’s archives, the film features previously unseen material from Varda’s personal archives, writing, photography, rushes, essays, unfinished films and personal documents that she preserved carefully throughout her life. 

Varda’s short film Ulysse (22 minutes, 1983) will be screened afterwards. This film investigates whether a a photograph can capture the ‘truth’ and exposes the fragility of memory.  Courtesy of Cinè-Tamaris and the Agnès Varda Estate.

Introduction by Rani Singh, curator of Desire to See: The Photographs of Agnès Varda currently on view at Fahey Klein Gallery until April 13, 2024.

Viva Varda!, 2023, Dir. Pierre-Henri Gibert. DCP, 67 min. Produced by Cinétévé & Ciné-Tamaris
Ulysse, 1983, Dir. Agnes Varda. 22 min.


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