Film Series

Spotlight on Agnès Varda

Tuesdays, June 12 through June 26

In honor of Women Artists in Paris 1850–1900, the Clark Art Institute and Images Cinema present Spotlight on Agnès Varda, a three-part series featuring films spanning the remarkable career of the acclaimed Parisian director known as the “queen of the French New Wave.”

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Le Bonheur

Starring: Jean-Claude Drouot, Claire Drouot, Marie-France Boyer

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Introduction by Alexis Goodin, Curatorial Research Associate at the Clark Art Institute

Inspired by Jean Renoir’s Picnic in the Grass and by the pastoral paintings of the French Impressionists, Le Bonheur is a wry social satire that subtly questions the ideal of the modern, happy family. In a deceptively cheery color palette, Varda depicts a handsome young carpenter (Jean-Claude Drouot) living contentedly with his wife and children (portrayed by Drouot’s actual family), until he meets a pretty young clerk and the two begin an equally satisfying affair. But can these arrangements fulfill all involved?

Presented on our Main Screen

  • Director: Agnès Varda
  • Runtime: 1 hour 19 minutes
  • Genre: Drama

“For Varda, the charms of Impressionism are raw material that she subjects to analysis and criticism—it’s a film in which emotional life and sensual delight are seen through the prism of sociology, psychology, and philosophical reflection.”

– New Yorker

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Cléo from 5 to 7

Starring: Corinne Marchand, Jean-Luc Godard, Anna Karina.

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Introduction by Olivier Meslay, the Felda and Dena Hardymon Director of the Clark Art Institute

Varda’s second film follows young pop singer, Florence “Cléo” Victoire, through two extraordinary hours in which she drifts through 1960s Paris, awaiting the results of a recent biopsy. A chronicle of the minutes of one woman’s life, Cléo from 5 to 7 is a spirited mix of vivid vérité and melodrama, featuring a score by Michel Legrand (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg).

Presented on our Main Screen

  • Director: Agnès Varda
  • Runtime: 1 hour 29 minutes
  • Genre: Drama

Cléo from 5 to 7 plays today as startlingly modern. Released in 1962, it seems as innovative and influential as any New Wave film..”

– Roger Ebert

4385

Faces Places

Starring: Agnès Varda, JR

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Introduction by Esther Bell, the Robert and Martha Berman Lipp Senior Curator of Painting and Sculpture

89-year old Agnès Varda, one of the leading figures of the French New Wave, and acclaimed 33 year-old French photographer and muralist JR teamed up to co-direct this enchanting documentary/road movie. Kindred spirits, Varda and JR share a lifelong passion for images and how they are created, displayed and shared. Together they travel around the villages of France in JR’s photo truck meeting locals, learning their stories and producing epic-size portraits of them. The photos are prominently displayed on houses, barns, storefronts and trains revealing the humanity in their subjects, and themselves. Faces Places documents these heart-warming encounters as well as the unlikely, tender friendship they formed along the way.

Presented on our Main Screen

  • Director: Agnès Varda
  • Runtime: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Genre: Documentary

“Faces Places is a one-in-a-million crowd-pleaser that deserves to be seen by the widest audience possible.”

– The Atlantic

About the director: Affectionately known as the “queen of the French New Wave,” Parisian Agnès Varda claims that she had seen virtually no other films before making her directorial debut, La Pointe Courte (1956). Instead, she was inspired by literature, photography, and, most importantly, painting. Inheriting the legacy of the women living and working in Paris during the time period reflected in the special exhibition Women Artists in Paris 1850–1900, Varda’s engagement with art has never wavered throughout her remarkable sixty-year career.