Agnes Varda is not a shy violet, but she was dressed in purple from head-to-toe when I interviewed her during the “Rendez-Vous with French Cinema” series in March. She was self-posessed, recalcitrant, and somewhat belligerent. When a few of us went outside Film Forum to get photos of her, she dashed through traffic across Houston Street and then ran towards Varick, leaving us behind as she searched for the perfect backdrop (which didn’t exist).
I interviewed the director on her new film, The Beaches of Agnes, for a magazine and also for a newspaper feature. Did I mention that I think she’s the greatest? I wrote in my feature:
As a rare female filmmaker working since the 1950s, Varda has no counterpart in the United States. She says, “There were other women working in film in France when I began, but I was the first to fight for a new kind of cinema. I pushed other women to join. Now we have more. There are many directors and editors. Not only that, but mixing and sound ladies. I pushed them. I said, ‘Learn! Don’t say it’s difficult for women!’”