Tributes are pouring in for Oscar-winning filmmaker and French cultural icon Agnès Varda, who has died aged 90.
In a statement sent to Deadline, Martin Scorsese said, “I seriously doubt that Agnès Varda ever followed in anyone else’s footsteps, in any corner of her life or her art … which were one in the same. She charted and walked her own path each step of the way, she and her camera. Every single one of her remarkable handmade pictures, so beautifully balanced between documentary and fiction, is like no one else’s — every image, every cut … What a body of work she left behind: movies big and small, playful and tough, generous and solitary, lyrical and unflinching … and alive.
“I saw her for the last time a couple of months ago. She knew that she didn’t have much longer, and she made every second count: she didn’t want to miss a thing. I feel so lucky to have known her. And to all young filmmakers: you need to watch Agnès Varda’s pictures,” the Oscar-winner added.
The Academy quoted the filmmaker on Twitter, “I feel that between weight and lightness, I choose lightness. And I feel I’m dancing, the dance of cinema.” Accepting an honorary Oscar in 2017, Agnès Varda brought warmth to the room & proceeded to dance onstage. Thank you for your vision, Agnès. We know you’re still dancing.”
Directors Guild of America President Thomas Schlamme said today: “The DGA mourns the loss of iconic director Agnès Varda, a leading influence in the French New Wave. Her innovative approach to filmmaking has inspired directors the world over. Agnès famously said ‘In my films, I always wanted to make people see deeply. I don’t want to show things, but to give people the desire to see.’ We thank her for lighting that desire, and for six decades of cinematic inspiration.”
The Cannes Film Festival said, “Immense sadness. For almost 65 years, Agnès Varda’s eyes and voice embodied cinema with endless inventiveness. The place she occupied is irreplaceable. Agnès loved images, words and people. She’s one of those whose youth will never fade.”
Baby Driver director Edgar Wright added on the social media platform, “RIP Agnès Varda, a icon of independent cinema before it even had that name. ‘Faces Places’ was an inventive, funny capper on an extraordinary career. Was funny to see her, smiling with bemusement, on the 2017 Oscar circuit. She knew she didn’t need one. She was already a legend.”
Filmmaker Ava DuVernay took to Twitter to describe a meeting with the iconic French director, “Last year at Cannes, Agnès Varda invited me to breakfast. She spoke of how she was in the last year of her life. About choices. And change. I told her what she meant to me. She held my hand as I did. Merci, Agnes. For your films. For your passion. For your light. It shines on.”
Moonlight director Barry Jenkins also described Varda as a “legend” in the following post,
Varda’s Faces Places collaborator, the artist JR, remembered the filmmaker thus,
In a sign of the filmmaker’s appeal beyond the film world, Madonna called Varda “always a curious, creative, child like spirit to the last”,