×

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.

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.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Samuel-W.-Gelfman

    Samuel Gelfman, Roger Corman Film Producer, Dies at 88

    Samuel Gelfman, a New York producer known for his work on Roger Corman’s “Caged Heat,” “Cockfighter” and “Cannonball!,” died Thursday morning at UCLA Hospital in Westwood following complications from heart and respiratory disease, his son Peter Gelfman confirmed. He was 88. Gelfman was born in Brooklyn, New York and was raised in Caldwell New Jersey [...]

  • Margot Robbie stars in ONCE UPON

    Box Office: 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' Pulls Ahead of 'Hobbs & Shaw' Overseas

    Sony’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” might not have hit No. 1 in North America, but Quentin Tarantino’s latest film is leading the way at the international box office, where it collected $53.7 million from 46 markets. That marks the best foreign opening of Tarantino’s career, coming in ahead of 2012’s “Django Unchained.” “Once [...]

  • Good Boys Movie

    Box Office: 'Good Boys' Leads Crowded Weekend With $21 Million

    The Bean Bag Boys, the self-appointed nickname for the trio of best friends in Universal’s “Good Boys,” are conquering much more than sixth grade. They are also leading the domestic box office, exceeding expectations and collecting $21 million on opening weekend. “Good Boys,” which screened at 3,204 North American theaters, is a much-needed win for [...]

  • Amanda Awards

    ‘Out Stealing Horses’ Tops Norway’s 2019 Amanda Awards

    HAUGESUND, Norway —  Hans Petter Moland’s sweeping literary adaptation “Out Stealing Horses” put in a dominant showing at Norway’s Amanda Awards on Saturday night, placing first with a collected five awards, including best Norwegian film. Celebrating its 35th edition this year, the Norwegian industry’s top film prize helped kick off the Haugesund Film Festival and [...]

  • Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    Richard Williams, 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' Animator, Dies at 86

    Renowned animator Richard Williams, best known for his work on “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” died Friday at his home in Bristol, England, Variety has confirmed. He was 86. Williams was a distinguished animator, director, producer, author and teacher whose work has garnered three Oscars and three BAFTA Awards. In addition to his groundbreaking work as [...]

  • Instinct

    Locarno Film Review: 'Instinct'

    Now that “Game of Thrones” has finally reached its conclusion, releasing its gifted international ensemble into the casting wilds, will Hollywood remember just what it has in Carice van Houten? It’s not that the statuesque Dutch thesp hasn’t been consistently employed since her startling 2006 breakout in Paul Verhoeven’s “Black Book,” or even that she’s [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content