le this series has focused on the films of Agnès Varda, it's reductive to describe her only as a filmmaker. Her career in photography predates her filmmaking career, and helps to inform her earliest film work, from the shots of the couple in La Pointe Courte to the contrasting images of a pregnant woman next to a pumpkin being hacked open in L’opéra-Mouffe.
Varda by Jon – Part 9: Jane B
If I've found a recurring theme to the work of Agnès Varda, it would be a curious empathy. Over and over again, Varda’s ability to notice people on the margins of society results in interesting subject matter for her art. As it becomes increasingly clear we live in a world lacking in empathy, Varda’s artistic impulses end up benefitting humanity. Certainly, it’s hard to conceive of how they could betray her, especially as it relates to an “aging” actress.
Varda by Jon – Part 3: Around Paris
In the supplemental materials for this box set, Martin Scorsese tells a story of being mildly intimidated by the presence of Agnès Varda who was visiting his film set. He was asked to tell which of her films was his favourite, and he stammered out Cléo from 5 to 7 (1962). Varda apparently lightly chided him, saying that's what everyone says. She has a point too, as when she passed in 2019, anyone reflecting on her importance as a filmmaker would usually cite this as the film to watch. Personally, I have regarded this film at a respectful distance, but I think on third viewing and with a lot of reading up, I'm ready to call this a film I enjoy.