Viva Varda!

Fri 17 Nov

For long stretches of her career, Varda lacked the exposure she deserved. Pierre-Henri Gibert, a documentarian specialising in cinema history, chronicles her expansive career in this documentary (premiered earlier this year at the Cannes Film Festival). He embodies her curiosity and whimsy, but filling in notable gaps from films such as The Beaches of Agnès and Varda by Agnès.

The documentary conducts intimate interviews with Varda’s family members, friends, and co-conspirators while uncovering rare archival material. Critic Robyn Citizen suggests that film historians often group Varda (who came to the Festival in 1995) with the French New Wave, but her work had a unique radicalism. She was the only woman director of that cohort and she preceded the men with her first feature, 1955’s La Pointe Courte. Her next film, 1962’s Cléo from 5 to 7, followed a woman wandering Paris and exemplified a penchant for blending fiction and documentary. Gibert brings deeper context to the personal factors that fed into her work, including her long and complex relationship with filmmaker Jacques Demy.

Tightly calibrated, efficiently told, and lovingly compiled portrait of the seminal director. – Roger

© Images courtesy of ciné-tamaris


Tickets available online and on the door.

The screening will be preceded by an intro and followed by a Q&A with director Pierre-Henri Gibert.

Pierre-Henri Gibert is the author of documentaries on painting, dance and especially cinema. Among his achievements: Jacques Audiard, le cinéma à cœur (2021); Volker Schlöndorff, tambour battant (2019); Red ! Art in the Land of the Soviets (2019); 1940, main basse sur le cinéma français (2019 - Selection Prize for Documentary History of Cinema, Pessac 2019); The First image – David Lynch, Lars von Trier, Xavier Dolan, Olivier Assayas, Michel Ocelot (2018 - Special mention from the jury of the Cinema History Documentary Prize, Pessac 2019); Danielle Darrieux, il est poli d’être gai (2018); The Clouzot Scandal (2017); Buñuel, la transgression des rêves (2017). ; Louis Malle, le rebelle (2016); Guillaume D, portrait of Guillaume Depardieu co-written with his sister Julie (2014). He has also worked on DVD supplements to film editions, including: Conversation avec Jean-Luc Godard ; L’Essence des formes, Robert Bresson déforme les sens ; Andrzej Wajda, La Voix du Peuple ; Les Fleurs maladives de Georges Franju.


*Concession available for French Institute members, registered students, registered unemployed people, disabled people (free for accompanying person), seniors and under 18.