French film legend Agnes Varda, who died last month aged 90, will be the star of this year’s Cannes Film Festival poster unveiled on Monday, perched on the back of one of her technicians.
The ever-playful director was pictured standing on the back of one of her crouching male crew to get a shot for her film, ‘La Pointe Courte.’
The director is credited with inventing the French New Wave with ‘La Pointe Courte’ in 1955, which was shot on the fly and on a shoestring budget in the Mediterranean port of Sète, where she grew up.
“Like a manifesto, this still photo sums up everything about Agnes Varda,” the festival said. “Her passion, aplomb, and mischievousness.”
In memory of the artist the festival added: “It is August 1954: we are in the Pointe Courte neighbourhood of Sète, in the south of France. In the dazzling summer light, Silvia Monfort and Philippe Noiret explore their fragile love, surrounded by struggling fishermen, bustling women, children at play, and roaming cats. Natural settings, lightweight camera, shoestring budget: with ‘La Pointe Courte,’ Agnès Varda, the photographer from Jean Vilar’s Théâtre National Populaire is paving the way for a young cinema, of which she will remain the only female director.”
“Her 65 years of creativity and experimentation almost match the age of the Festival de Cannes, who celebrates each year visions which reveal, dare, and rise higher. And who remains keen to remember,” the festival said.
The festival repeated what Varda believed in that she “is not a woman filmmaker: Agnès Varda is a filmmaker.”
She often attended the festival to present her films: 13 times in the Official Selection. She was also a jury member in 2005 as well as president of the Caméra d’Or jury in 2013. When she received the honorary Palme d’Or in 2015, she evoked “resilience and endurance, more than honour,” and dedicated it “to all the brave and inventive filmmakers, those who create original cinema, whether it’s fiction or documentary, who are not in the limelight, but who carry on.”
“Avant-garde but popular, intimate yet universal, her films have led the way,” the festival said adding, “And so, perched high on this pyramid, surveying the beach at Cannes, young and eternal, Agnès Varda will be the inspirational guiding light of this 72nd edition of the festival!”