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AFI Fest Guest Artistic Director Agnès Varda Picks ‘After Hours’ for Special Screenings

Cassavetes, Fassbinder, Bresson pics also on sked

The American Film Institute’s guest artistic director Agnès Varda has unveiled her pick of four films to screen at this year’s AFI Fest.

The French director will return to Los Angeles to present a program of movies that have inspired her six-decade-long career. The movies are: Robert Bresson’s 1959 crime drama “Pickpocket,” John Cassavetes’ 1974 “A Woman Under the Influence,” Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s 1979 war tale “The Marriage of Maria Braun,” and Martin Scorsese’s 1985 “After Hours

The festival will also screen a selection of Varda’s films, including a restored versions of “Cleo from 5 to 7” (“Cléo de 5 à 7”) and “Documenteur,” as well as her late husband Jacques Demy’s 1964 musical “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.” Varda and her daughter Rosalie Varda recently oversaw the restoration of the film in honor of its 50th anniversary.

“It’s always good to be chosen, but it’s funny to be chosen to choose, therefore I immediately accepted the invitation from AFI Fest to propose some films for their program,” said Agnès Varda. “I chose ‘The Marriage of Maria Braun,’ one pearl of Fassbinder films, ‘Pickpocket’ by Bresson for its singular way of interpreting the art of stealing. As an hommage to two American directors, I chose Scorcese and Cassavetes. From Scorsese, ‘After Hours,’ a strange ephemeral nightmare beautifully treated, and from Cassavetes one of my favorite among all: ‘Woman Under the Influence,’ a delicate and complex portrait of a woman as well as of the people around her. Actually, to choose is always painful.”

The pioneering auteur, often called the “Mother of the French New Wave,” has directed more than 30 films, including the César-winning documentary “The Beaches Of Agnes,” Golden Lion-winning “Vagabond,” “Jacquot” (“Jacquot de Nantes”) and “The Gleaners and I.”

Leading up to the festival, LACMA will be presenting the first U.S. museum exhibit of Varda’s artwork, “Agnès Varda in Californialand,” from Nov. 3 to June 22. The museum is also working with the Annenberg Foundation and the Film Foundation to restore four films Varda shot in California early in her career.

Festivalgoers can register online between Oct. 8 and Oct. 18 for free tickets to all screenings. The fest runs from Nov. 7 to 14 in Hollywood.

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