Agnes Varda, irrepressible octogenarian — “say I’ll be 85 in
May” — and filmmaker whose 1954 feature debut, “La Pointe-Courte,” precipitated
New Wave cinema, is artist-in-residence at the University of Pennsylvania this
week, dispensing wisdom, teaching master
classes and sharing some of her 33 films, including her 2009 cine-memoir, “The
Beaches of Agnes.”
Here’s what she had to say about her career when I had a
sit-down with her earlier in the week. It occurred to me that she is among the
oldest filmmakers currently active (Alain Resnais, who was the editor of “La
Pointe-Court” is a few years older, and the indefatigable Manoel de Oliveira is
100-plus years) although her vitality and vivacity is that of someone a
fraction of her years.
I just listened to her teach a master class at Scribe Video
Center where my favorite question came from an aspiring documentarian who
asked, “It always seems that you’re teaching your subject. How do you achieve
that effect?” Varda shrugged and answered, “Possibly it’s the handheld camera?”
Read the rest of this article, and discuss your favorite Varda films, here.
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