Agnès Varda, Influential French New Wave Filmmaker, Dies at 90 ~ NYT

Agnès Varda and the French photographer and muralist known as JR in a scene from their 2017 film, “Faces Places.” “I don’t do films pre-prepared by other people,’’ she said. “I don’t do star system. So I do my own little thing.”Credit Cohen Media Group

By John Anderson

Agnès Varda, a groundbreaking French filmmaker who was closely associated with the New Wave — although her reimagining of filmmaking conventions actually predated the work of Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut and others identified with that movement — died on Friday morning at her home in Paris. She was 90.

Her death, from breast cancer, was confirmed by a spokeswoman for her production company, Ciné-Tamaris.

In recent years, Ms. Varda had focused her directorial skills on nonfiction work that used her life and career as a foundation for philosophical ruminations and visual playfulness. “The Gleaners and I,” a 2000 documentary in which she used the themes of collecting, harvesting and recycling to reflect on her own work, is considered by some to be her masterpiece.

But it was not her last film to receive widespread acclaim. In 2017, at the age of 89, Ms. Varda partnered with the French photographer and muralist known as JR on “Faces Places,” a road movie that featured the two of them roaming rural France, meeting the locals, celebrating them with enormous portraits and forming their own fast friendship. Among its many honors was an Academy Award nomination for best documentary feature. (It did not win, but that year Ms. Varda was given an honorary Academy Award for lifetime achievement.)

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One of the world’s most influential filmmakers, Agnes Varda, has died at age 90. In 2017, she received an honorary Oscar.

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