Film Studies For Free is working on a longer post on video essays, but it had to rush to its readers, in the meantime, with the hot news of a great podcast interview with French director and film essayist Agnès Varda by a longstanding admirer and acquaintance of hers, radio journalist Ruth Seymour for the Politics of Culture slot at KCRW. Their principal topic of conversation was Varda's latest documentary Les Plages d'Agnès/ The Beaches of Agnès (France, 2009). The interview has been online since yesterday and FSFF sends its thanks for the rapid tip-off to Sasha Berman.The podcast can be accessed at the KCRW website by clicking HERE. For those interested the English-language press kit (pdf) for The Beaches of Agnès can be accessed HERE. See also Nick Dawson's great recent interview with Varda for Filmmaker Magazine HERE.
Below is an FSFF selection of links to highly worthwhile and freely-accessible online material pertaining to this great filmmaker.
Video essay by Varda (in French):
'In 1975, it was the Year of the Woman. [French TV channel] Antenne 2 asked seven female filmmakers the question : “How does it feel to be a woman?”. They had to answer with a seven-minute movie. Agnès Varda chose to answer with the cine-leaflet “Réponses de femmes”. It is a possible answer concerning women’s bodies and the feminine condition. In this short movie, women, from female children to old women, chat about sex, desire, advertising and children (to have some or not) : “our object-body, our taboo-body, our body with or without children, our sex, etc...”. How can we experience our body? How can we experience our sex? On a white set, women, dressed or naked, try to answer the question “What is a woman?”. One answers: “To be a woman is to be born in a female body”. Nothing more, no idea of feminine essence, or predisposition to motherhood, ideas against which the feminist movement was struggling. A pregnant and naked woman, dancing and laughing loud, made a lot of viewers react : Antenne 2 got a lot of written reproaches. This cine-leaflet was aired on Antenne 2 the 23rd of June 1975. It was also nominated to Cesars 76, category documentary short-movie.' By Feminism in Cinema weblog.
Video interviews and talks:
- 'Moving Images: Agnès Varda' two hour long webcast at the Tate Modern, London, April 25, 2002
- Agnès Varda , 'On Cléo from 5 to 7', at the European Graduate School (3 minute long RealPlayer video)
- Agnès Varda, 'On the Gleaners and I', at the European Graduate School in 2004 (6 short videos)
- Yvette Bíró, 'Agnès Varda’s Open Harbour', Rouge, 9, September 2006
- Virginia Bonner, 'Beautiful Trash: Agnès Varda’s Les Glaneurs et la glaneuse', Senses of Cinema, Issue 45, October–December 2007
- Helen Carter, 'Agnes Varda,' (Great Directors: A Critical Database) Senses of Cinema, 23, Nov-Dec 2002
- Carloss James Chamberlin, 'Drought de Seigneur [on Le Bonheur], Senses of Cinema, March 2004
- Andrew Chan, 'The Criterion Collection #74: Vagabond', The House Next Door Online, January 21, 2008
- Chris Darke, 'Vagabond: Freedom and Dirt', Criterion.com, 2008
- Mike Hakata, 'Agnès Varda, Questions at Twenty-Four Frames a Second [review of Alison Smith, Agnès Varda (Manchester University Press, 1998)]', Film-Philosophy, Vol. 3, 1999
- Peter Kemp, 'Jacquot de Nantes', Senses of Cinema, April 2004
- Adrian Martin, 'Cléo from 5 to 7: Passionate Time', Criterion.com, 2008
- Jim Morrissey, 'Paris and voyages of self-discovery in Cléo de 5 à 7 and Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain', Studies in French Cinema, Vol. 8, Issue 2, 2008
- Amy Taubin, 'Le Bonheur: Splendor in the Grass', Criterion.com, 2008
- Ginette Vincendeau, 'La Pointe Courte: How Agnès Varda "invented" the New Wave', Criterion.com, 2008
- Holly Willis, 'Vagabond', Senses of Cinema, March 2004
- Jake Wilson, 'Trash And Treasure: The Gleaners And I', Senses of Cinema, 23, Nov-Dec 2002