123 Great Directors: Agnes Varda

“I don’t believe in inspiration that arrives like a bolt from the blue – if it doesn’t also arise from your body and your immediate lived experience. That’s why I always refer to ‘subjective documentary’. It seems to me that the more motivated I am by what I film, the more objectively I film.”


What Got This Director Here?
: Mostly Cleo From 5 to 7.

My Favorite Past Experience Was…: Cleo From 5 to 7 (from a very rich selection pool).

What Did I Watch: Le Bonheur.

Where Does She Fit: Admittedly, most of what I’ve seen is the canonical stuff, but Varda might be a contender for the best director ever. This is bone chilling stuff, exploiting our initial desire to enjoy pretty colors and the arm muscles of our leading man. We get just that in something that feels like a very light Godard parody for a little while, before one of the most radical acts of bifurcation ever, culminating in a fucking creepy final shot. Everything is dissonant and freaky. This is Psycho with a rainbow prism as the filter, and seeing this on the big screen in 2K was unforgettable.

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Most Valuable Asset: Naivete in aesthetics, wisdom in writing.
Most Excited For: Le Pointe Courte.
Did They Deserve a Spot?: Absolutely. Too low.

Coming Up Next: Alexander Sokurov, examiner of history.

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