Agne's Varda, a pioneer of the French New Wave, has been making radical films for over half a century. Many of these are considered by scholars, filmmakers, and audiences alike, as audacious, seminal, and unforgettable. This volume considers her production as a whole, revisiting overlooked films like Mur, Murs/Documenteur (1980–81), and connecting her cinema to recent installation work. This study demonstrates how Varda has resisted norms of representation and diktats of production. It also shows how she has elaborated a personal repertoire of images, characters, and settings, which all provide insight on their cultural and political contexts. The book thus offers new readings of this director's multifaceted rêveries, arguing that her work should be seen as an aesthetically influential and ethically-driven production where cinema is both a political and collaborative practice, and a synesthetic art form.
About the Author
Delphine Bénézet teaches comparative literature in the School of Languages, Linguistics, and Film at Queen Mary, University of London.
Table of Contents
1. Agnes Varda: A Woman Within History
2. Aesthetics and Technique
3. Varda's Ethics of Filming
4. Poetics of Space
5. Cinecriture and Originality
What People are Saying About This
Delphine Bénézet fills a crucial gap in the scholarship on Agne's Varda by tackling her 'neglected films' and installations. Written in a clear, flowing prose, her essay illuminates Varda in a refreshing, new light.
Delphine Bénézet's study of Agne's Varda explores the multi-faceted productions of this exceptional and influential creator, including her films (from essays to fiction features to autobiographical reflections) and her installations. Discussions of Varda's best-known films are accompanied by analyses of those that have received far less critical attention, and the author's focus on Varda's particular production methods, as well as the historical contexts that shaped her interventions, enhance our understanding and appreciation of the contributions of this unique visual artist. Bénézet's book will be of interest to specialists as well as to those discovering Varda for the first time.