Like Hercules Poirot, she was Belgian. Agnès Varda, film director and installation artist, studied at the Sorbonne with Gaston Bachelard who introduced her to the poetics of space. On her own, Agnès studied William Faulkner and his juxtapositions. Already a photographer, Agnès decided to make a film inspired by Faulkner’s 1939 short story “Wild Palms”. She was only 25 and had no film experience but that didn’t stop her. The result was La Pointe Courte, a film many critics claim anticipated the French New Wave aka Nouvelle Vague. And for the next 65 years, Agnès was an unarrestable energy.
Last year, at the age of 89, Agnès was the oldest nominee in Oscar history for her film Faces Places made with JR, “photograffeur” and street artist. She also gave her solidarity to the #MeToo movement.
Like an unexpected cool breeze on a summer day, last year I discovered Agnès and immediately fell in love with her joie de vivre and her capacity to squeeze life like a lemon not letting even one drop go to waste. Her non-stop curiosity kept Agnès joyously alive. She inspired me so much that, while on our lovely island of Paros, I made a graphic essay about her (see below).
Yesterday, Agnès death was announced. Tristesse immense. Au revoir Magical Woman and fais de beaux rêves. Thank you, Agnès, for inspiring women to live a full and joyful life no matter what their age.
“I went from one film to another, just trying to be an artist and I never saw my work as a career.” Agnès