Inspirational Women: Agnès Varda
Agnès Varda (originally Arlette Varda) was the daughter of a family immigrated from Anatolia, was born in Brussels to a Greek father and a French mother, and took an interest in photography. She is one of the most free and original creators in the history of cinema and one of the most important representatives of the feminist movement in cinema. She is the only female representative and pioneer of the French New Wave (Nouvelle Vogue).
Agnès Varda is known as the “grandmother of the French New movement”. For this reason, in order to understand and know Agnès Varda, it is necessary to know what is the French New Movement. The French New Wave rejected Hollywood’s fiction based on a systematic order and innovation. The artists within the movement are not related to each other or like an organization, they are all different and unique from one another. The use of cameras can vary in subject or genre. Agnès Varda has also been extremely successful in this regard; She preferred to use the camera minimally and realism as the subject. As a genre, she could freely switch from photography to cinema, from feature film to documentary, and she could use every material she had in harmony.
Agnès Varda is also a representative and pioneer of the feminist movement. She has dealt with feminism in some of her films. In the British Film Institute speech in 2018 in London, “I wanted to create the cinema and be happy as a woman. I wanted to be radical, ”she said.
Varda achieved various success with more than forty works. She was among the pioneers of the cinema world with her films “Cléo de 5 à 7” (5 to 7 Cléo) and “Le Bonheur” (Happiness). The French director also became the first female director to receive the Honorary Award of the Academy Awards in 2017, and the first female director to receive the 2015 Golden Palm Honorary Award at the Cannes Film Festival. Apart from all these, she is also the recipient of France’s highest National Medal, Légion d’Honneur, and the French Academy’s René Clair Award. She was also nominated for an Oscar in 2018 with the documentary “Visages, villages”.
At the age of 30, being referred to as the ‘grandmother’ of the New Wave cinema movement made Agnès Varda laugh a lot. Today, Varda, who has begun to be known as the “young artist” of modern art, said “If there is a last minute, it should be used until the end, time is flexible, it is necessary to stretch it out”. The family of Agnès Varda, who died at the age of 90 in 2019, explained the cause of death as complications due to treatment, as she had been treated for cancer for a while.
Arslan, A. Fransız Yeni Dalga Sinemasının Özellikleri ve Ünlü Yönetmenleri [Features and Famous Director of French New Wave Cinema].
Anon. Agnès Hakkında Her Şey [Everything About Agnès].