This program combines a selection of Varda’s empathetic, wise, playful, and restlessly curious short films made across three decades, starting with Women Reply: Our Bodies, Our Sex, Varda’s politically frank docu-short made two years before her feminist musical One Sings, the Other Doesn’t, and concluding with the Méliès-inspired romance Le lion volatil.

Women Reply: Our Bodies, Our Sex / Réponse de femmes: Notre corps, notre sexe 
Agnès Varda, France, 1975, 8m
French with English subtitles
In 1975, a television station gave seven female filmmakers seven minutes to answer the question “What does it mean to be a woman?” Varda responded with this frank assemblage, examining how women are taking control over their bodies and lives.

The Pleasure of Love in Iran / Plaisir d’amour en Iran
Agnès Varda, France, 1976, 6m
French with English subtitles
A stunning, vaulted mosque inspires poetry as a young couple (Valérie Mairesse and Ali Rafie, familiar faces from Varda’s One Sings, the Other Doesn’t) goes sightseeing in Iran.

The So-called Caryatids / Les dites cariatides
Agnès Varda, France, 1984, 12m
French with English subtitles
Classical sculptures of female figures adorn Parisian architecture, like human support beams—Varda explores the caryatids’ ancient Greek roots while musing on their modern resonance, accented by selections from Baudelaire’s poetry.

7p., cuis., s. de b., … à saisir
Agnès Varda, France, 1984, 28m
French with English subtitles
The empty rooms of an apartment for rent still hold the stories of its previous tenants. Varda collages fragments and atmospherics to reawaken a family’s class and generational conflicts.

You’ve Got Beautiful Stairs, You Know / T’as de beaux escaliers, tu sais
Agnès Varda, France, 1986, 3m
French with English subtitles
The front steps of the Cinémathèque Française spark a journey through cinematic staircases: Varda celebrates the institution’s 50th anniversary with a themed tribute to all that cinema can offer.

Le lion volatil
Agnès Varda, France, 2003, 12m
French with English subtitles
In this Méliès-inspired romance, a fortune-teller’s apprentice (Julie Depardieu) crosses paths with a Catacombs security guard (David Deciron) near the shape-shifting Lion of Belfort statue in Paris.

Playing as part of Varda: A Retrospective, December 20-January 6. See showtimes & get tickets.