One of the most influential female filmmakers in cinematic history has passed.
Agnes Varda, the Belgium-born French auteur who would become a vital part of the 1960s French New Wave, passed away today at the age of 90. According to her family, Varda passed away from complications from cancer.
Her noted works include 1955’s La Pointe Courte, 1962’s Cleo from 5 to 7, 1985’s Vagabond, and 1988’s Kung Fu Master. Her legendary career earned her an honorary Oscar award in 2017.
Agnes was born Arlette Varda on May 30, 2018 in Ixelles, Belgium. At the age of 18, she legally changed her first name to Agnes and she had originally intended to be an art curator. However, she took up photography as well as studied art history. With her interest in still photography, she began her career as a photographer before delving into her prolific film career.
As part of the French New Wave, Varda’s works were a part of the Left Bank side of the genre, along with celebrated auteurs such as Chris Marker, Alain Resnais, and Jean Cayrol to name a few. The Left Bank French New Wave delved more into experimentation and between that her use of feminist views, Varda to this day remains the “mother” and “grandmother” of the French New Wave genre.
After receiving her honorary Oscar in 2017, Varda made her final film, a documentary entitled Faces Places in 2018. Along with artist and co-director JR, Varda traveled across France and created portraits of the people the duo came across. The film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary Film. However, Varda loves the art of film and to this day, didn’t care about the accolades received over the years.
Varda is preceded in death by her husband, legendary filmmaker Jacques Demy, who passed away in 1990 and her two children, Rosalie and Mathieu.
World Film Geek sends its condolences to the family of Agnes Varda. As a final tribute, here is Varda receiving her 2017 Honorary Oscar.