The death of Agnes Varda, a French New Wave icon who was loved and revered around the world, has triggered an outpouring of heartfelt tributes paying homage to her legacy, pioneering work and generous personality.
Martin Scorsese paid tribute to Varda on Instagram.
“What a body of work she left behind: movies big and small, playful and tough, generous and solitary, lyrical and unflinching…and alive,” he wrote. “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.”
“Immense sadness. For almost 65 years, Agnès Varda’s eyes and voice embodied cinema with endless inventiveness,” the Cannes Film Festival tweeted. “The place she occupied is irreplaceable. Agnès loved images, words and people. She’s one of those whose youth will never fade.”
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. pic.twitter.com/cpquJXJtwK
— Festival de Cannes (@Festival_Cannes) March 29, 2019
JR, the French artist and humanitarian who was a close collaborator of Varda and notably teamed with her on her critically-acclaimed documentary “Faces, Places,” also payed tribute to Varda, calling her his “shooting star.”
For my shooting star wherever you are… Agnes Varda ❤️ pic.twitter.com/M92Ha2VXky
— JR (@JRart) March 29, 2019
“Moonlight” director Barry Jenkins also took to Twitter to celebrate Varda whom he said remains a “legend.”
Work and life were undeniably fused for this legend. She lived FULLY for every moment of those 90 damn years 😻 pic.twitter.com/SHnRbGoDmr
— Barry Jenkins (@BarryJenkins) March 29, 2019
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. pic.twitter.com/NP2FSJACY9
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) March 29, 2019
— Madonna (@Madonna) March 29, 2019
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. pic.twitter.com/RDYP0Zi12O
— edgarwright (@edgarwright) March 29, 2019
#AgnesVarda you made my world better. RIP
— Pedro Pascal he/him (@PedroPascal1) March 29, 2019
The president of the French National Film Board, Frederique Bredin, said in a statement that Varda was “generous, joyful, profoundly humane.”
“Agnès Varda enlightened our lives with her films, which were insanely inventive….What she brought us through her work and through her battles to improve the condition of women is priceless,” Bredin wrote.
Cannes’ former president Gilles Jacob wrote on Twitter that Varda’s films “are our treasure. A national treasure: that of the French spirit.”
Varda est partie, mais Agnès sera toujours là. Intelligente, vive, douce, spirituelle, rieuse, cocasse, inattendue comme l'est son oeuvre. Ses films de quat'sous sont notre trésor. Un trésor national : celui de l'esprit français.
— gilles jacob (@jajacobbi) March 29, 2019
French film promotion organization UniFrance wrote that “the sadness will never end.”
— UniFrance (@uniFrance) March 29, 2019
Kering chairman and CEO François-Henri Pinault
“It is a truly sad day when the great lady and incomparable artist, Agnès Varda, passes away,” he said in a statement. “A cinema icon, a woman of commitment, a tireless feminist and an extraordinary artist, she conquered the world with her unique perspective on reality and creativity. We will miss her sense of fantasy, her poetic charm and her distinctive voice in the world. The gift she leaves us is her enlightening way of being in the world, with immense simplicity. It permeated all her work, and it remains with us today. Her family, and everyone that she inspired, enchanted and took with her on a journey of the imagination –- and who returned from that journey having grown, and changed –- are in my thoughts. A great creative force, and a marvelous woman, has left us. We will miss her forever.”
U.K.-based filmmaker Jörg Tittel, a family friend of Varda, was also among those to pay her an emotional tribute.