×

Cannes: Official Poster Pays Tribute to Agnès Varda

Two weeks after the French filmmaking icon died in Paris, Cannes celebrates Varda’s impact with rare image from the making of 'La Pointe Courte.'

The Cannes Film Festival is saluting director Agnès Varda with its official poster, which depicts the filmmaker, then in her mid-20s, shooting her first feature, 1955’s “La Pointe Courte.”

The announcement reflects the enormous respect the director-cum-visual-artist had earned from Cannes and the film community worldwide as a pioneering director — the woman whose independent debut paved the way for the French New Wave. Later, Varda went on to make “Cléo from 5 to 7,” which premiered in competition at Cannes in 1962 and featured a cameo from “Breathless” director Jean-Luc Godard, whose own film career was catalyzed in part by her example. Varda died at 90 last month.

CREDIT: Cannes Film Festival

Varda was a regular at Cannes, whether or not she had a film to screen there — and she presented many, including “Jacquot de Nantes,” “The Gleaners and I,” and, most recently, “Faces Places” — and served on the jury in 2005, the year Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s film “The Child” won the Palme d’Or. In 2015, Varda was awarded an honorary Palme d’Or by the festival.

Cannes artistic director Thierry Frémaux has been a longtime champion and admirer of Varda. He was among a small group of people to speak at a tribute to Varda held at the Cinématheque Française the morning of her funeral in Paris, including Varda’s “Faces Places” co-director JR, who teared up behind his signature sunglasses. Actress Sandrine Bonnaire, who starred in her film “Vagabond”; Catherine Deneuve, who acted in films by both Varda and her late husband, Jacques Demy; and close friend and frequent collaborator Jane Birkin all paid their respects at the event.

Popular on Variety

The funeral, which was held at the Montparnasse cemetery, drew an even larger crowd, including such French cinema greats as Marion Cotillard, Louis Garrel, Corinne Marchand (star of “Cléo”), and Jean-Pierre Léaud (of “The 400 Blows”). The director’s children, Rosalie Varda and Mathieu Demy, shared personal memories of their mother, while Rosalie’s youngest son, Corentin, told a story about how, nine years earlier, he had been arrested for painting the tops of the traffic posts along the cemetery blue. Varda had come to the police station to bail him out, explaining to the cops that he had shown his “artistic streak.” The day before the funeral, Corentin painted the posts again, this time red with a crown of white in homage to his grandmother and her two-toned hair.

The ceremony ended with a performance of The Doors’ “L.A. Woman.” Varda and Jim Morrison were close friends when the singer lived in Paris, and it was she who arranged his burial in 1971 at Père Lachaise cemetery, which his fans still visit. Varda’s own admirers showed their love by leaving potatoes and sunflowers at her grave and on the front porch of her house a few blocks away on Rue Daguerre. For many, Varda’s gift was her ability to find uncommon beauty in things others find ordinary.

The Cannes Film Festival will take place May 14-25.

More Film

  • Will Smith and Martin Lawrence star

    How 'Bad Boys for Life' Escaped the Franchise Revival Curse

    Sony’s “Bad Boys” franchise proved a 17-year gap between installments means little for the right property. “Bad Boys for Life,” reuniting stars Will Smith and Martin Lawrence as drug-busting cops, beat expectations and debuted to a stellar $68 million in North America over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. The action comedy now stands [...]

  • Tony Hall, Director General of the

    Frontrunners Emerge as BBC Boss Tony Hall Set to Leave Broadcasting Behind

    As the U.K. industry reacts to news of Tony Hall’s intention to depart the BBC this July, top-level executives including Charlotte Moore and Tim Davie as well as external contenders such as Channel 4’s Alex Mahon are beginning to emerge. Variety understands that Lord Hall, who has headed the BBC for seven years as director [...]

  • The Isle of the Dead

    UniFrance Puts Spotlight on Emerging French VR Sector at Rendez-Vous

    France has a burgeoning eco-system of virtual reality and augmented reality producers, and is one of Europe’s leading VR/AR hubs. The UniFrance Rendez-Vous with French Cinema in Paris, a showcase of French projects that wraps Monday, included a VR/AR showcase, with recent projects demonstrated by Wide Management VR, VRrOOm and Atlas V. UniFrance’s online MyFrenchFilm [...]

  • Los Lobos

    Watch First Trailer for Samuel Kishi Leopo’s ‘Los Lobos’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    FiGa Films has shared the first trailer for Animal de Luz production “Los Lobos,” the second feature from Mexican director Samuel Kishi Leopo, set to play in Berlinale’s GenerationKplus. Previously the film won the SIGNIS award at the Havana Film Festival and passed through various international festivals such as Korea’s Busan International Film Festival and [...]

  • Jacques Bidou, Marianne Dumoulin on Challenges

    Jacques Bidou, Marianne Dumoulin on Challenges of Producing Sundance-Player 'Yalda' in Iran

    Massoud Bakhshi’s second feature, “Yalda, a Night for Forgiveness,” has its world premiere in Sundance’s World Cinema Dramatic Competition, to be screened without the director. The pic’s production company, JBA Production, and sales outfit, Pyramide International, issued a joint statement on Jan. 14 explaining that the director won’t be attending due to the U.S.-Iran crisis, [...]

  • Mama Weed

    'Divorce Club,' 'Mama Weed,' 'Under the Stars of Paris' Among Highlights at UniFrance Rendez-Vous

    A mix of comedies such as Isabelle Huppert starrer “Mama Weed” and Michaël Youn’s “Divorce Club,” and director-driven titles like Claus Drexel’s “Under the Stars of Paris” were among the most buzzed-about market premieres of the UniFrance Rendez-Vous with French Cinema. The five-day showcase kicked off Jan. 17 with the world premiere of Martin Provost’s [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content