Friday, June 4, 2010

Cinemawesomeness 101: Agnès the Great

I've talked about Agnès Varda quite a bit on this blog. I was introduced to her films when I was 15 and it changed the way I watched movies and the kinds of movies I watch. She showed me that cinema can be a very personal, female experience. She is, in a very real way, responsible for the path my life has taken and the things that I'm passionate about. It's because of her that I'm in New York learning to keep films alive. She made some of the first films of the French New Wave, not as one of the Cahiers du Cinema but as an untrained rogue, and she did it with love and purpose. It was never to make a statement or make money, but always out of a very tender desire to share a story or a portrait of someone. I love her. She is funny and brave and magical to watch. Working at MoMA, I got to talk to people who know her well and learn more about her move from narratives to documentaries to installation art. I somehow continue to gain even more respect for her. The Auteurs has put most of her films up on their site, and I beg you to give them a try. Here are some of her biggest films in the order in which I saw them:

1. Vagabond (1985)
This was the one that got me and is still my favorite.

Her first film. Very clear that she was a photographer learning to use a movie camera. Unassumingly set the tone for the French New Wave. Some of the shots will knock you off your feet.

Her classic. A beautiful film. I usually tell people to start here because it's very accessible and very Agnès.

The first documentary of her's that I ever saw. Opened my eyes in many ways.
A summary of her life. You will cry. And laugh. And laugh while crying.

And finally, you can watch Les Fiances du Pont MacDonald, a short film that Cleo watches in Cléo from 5 to 7, for free on YouTube. It's the cutest.

No comments:

Post a Comment