Scen.: Agnès Varda. F.: François Décréau, Claire Duguet, Julia Fabry. M.: Agnès Varda, Nicolas Longinotti. Int.: Agnès Varda, Sandrine Bonnaire, Nurith Aviv, Hervé Chandès. Prod.: Rosalie Varda per Ciné-Tamaris, HBB26, Scarlett Production, MK2 Flms, Ciné +. DCP. D.: 115’. Col.
In 1994, with a retrospective at the French Cinémathèque, I published a book entitled Varda by Agnès. 25 years later, the same title is given to my film made of moving images and words, with the same project: to give keys to my body of work. I give my own keys, my thoughts, nothing pretentious, just keys.
The film is in two parts, two centuries. The 20th century from my first feature film La Pointe courte in 1954 to the last one in 1996, Les Cent et une nuits de Simon Cinéma (One Hundred and One Nights). In between, I made documentaries, features, short and long. The second part starts in the 21st century, when the small digital cameras changed my approach to documentaries, from the Les Glaneurs et la glaneuse (Gleaners and I) in 2000 to Visages, Villages (Faces Places), co-directed with JR in 2017. But during that time, I mostly created art installations, the Triptyques atypiques, the Cabanes de Cinéma and I kept making documentaries, such as Les Plages d’Agnès (The Beaches of Agnès). In the middle of the two parts, there is a little reminder about my first life as a photographer.
I’ve made a wide variety of films in my life. So I need to tell you what led me to do this work for so many years. […]It could be called a ‘masterclass’, but I don’t feel like a master and I never taught. I don’t like the idea. It is not so much about retelling the stories, but more about the structure and the intention and my sources. But I didn’t want it to be very boring. So it’s in a theatre with people, or in a garden, and I try to be myself and communicate the energy or the intention or the feeling I want to share. It’s what I call cine-writing, in which all the choices participate in something you could call ‘style’. But style is a literary word. So cine-writing is all the elements I think we have to think of, or choose, or use, to make a film.