Agnès Varda talking to fans outside the Film Center. Photo by Katrina Whalen.
This week on our podcast The Close-Up, you'll hear from legendary French filmmaker Agnès Varda, who is receiving an honorary Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival. The director came to the Film Society of Lincoln Center during our second annual Art of the Real festival in March, which included a retrospective of her pioneering cinema.
Art of the Real is dedicated to an expansive view of documentary film, and the selections from Varda's work highlighted her fascination with the boundary between fiction and nonfiction. Even in her scripted films, Varda always incorporates elements of the real. Her seminal debut La Pointe Courte (1955), for example, uses documentary footage as a backdrop for its story of a couple’s existential struggles, and Vagabond (1985) features non-actors who wandered onto the set and were subsequently integrated into the film’s narrative.
Following a screening of La Pointe Courte, Varda joined festival co-programmer Rachel Rakes for a discussion. Besides sharing fascinating anecdotes from the film's production, Varda also regaled the audience with stories about French New Wave luminaries like Alain Resnais, François Truffaut, and André Bazin.