By: Nazia Adnin
According to a new report the number of female directors has fallen in Hollywood. In 2016, just 7% of the top 250 films were directed by women, a fall of 2% from the year before. This is not the case of Hollywood rather all over the world. Number of female directors decreased rapidly in almost every film industry for various reasons.
Agnes Varda was born on May 30, 1928, in Ixelles (Brussels), Belgium, the daughter of Christiane (née Pasquet) and Eugène Jean Varda, an engineer. In teen age she moved to France to live with the rest of her family. Her first introduction to film was through photography at Théâtre National Populaire when she started working as a photographer. Agnes Varda studied art history and photography.
Varda is an influential figure in modern French Cinema. Her career pre-dates of “French New Wave”. Varda always wanted to make films that relate to her time. She believes in experimenting with the style of film making than following traditional or classical styles. Varda’s works are considered as feminist since she uses female protagonists and has created a “female cinematic voice”. In the beginning of her career she was influenced by “Auteur Theory” and created her own signature style by using camera as a “pen.”
Because of the presence of the literary elements in Varda’s films belong more precisely to the Rive Gauche (Left Bank) cinema movement, along with Chris Marker, Alain Resnais, Marguerite Duras, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Jean Cayrol and Henri Colpi. Their works often were inspired by left wing politics.
“La Pointe Courte” is one of Varda’s notable works. She was in her mid twenties with no training in film when she made it. The film is about an unhappy couple working through their relationship in a small fishing town, was released in 1954. “Cléo from 5 to 7” was her next movie. This movie demonstrates Varda’a thoughts on morality, existentialism and despair. This film also has a strong feminine point of view. Story of the film deals with some surrealism ideas starting with a young woman who is waits to hear the results of a medical test that will possibly confirm a diagnosis of cancer.
Jacquot de Nantes and The Gleaners and I are also Varda’s notable works, among many more. Throughout her lifetime Varda has received many prestigious awards .In 1985 she received Golden Lion at Venice Film Festival. In 2002 Agnès Varda was the recipient of the prestigious French Academy prize, René Clair Award. In May 2010 Varda received Directors' Fortnight's 8th Carosse d'Or award for lifetime achievement at the Cannes Film Festival. In 2015, Varda received an honorary Palme d'or, becoming the first woman to receive an honorary Palme d'or.