Agnes Varda, a leading French filmmaker and a major voice of the New Wave movement, died at her home in Paris on Friday. She was 90 years old.
A close contemporary of cinema legends such as Francois Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard, Varda won an honorary Oscar in 2017 and the Berlin Film Festival’s Berlinale Camera lifetime achievement award only last month.
Her most recent film, “Agnes by Varda”, shows her discussing her work before live audiences in an attempt to help bid farewell.
“I have to prepare myself to say goodbye and go away,” Varda told a news conference in Berlin in February.
Born in Belgium, Varda began her career as a stills photographer.
Her films focused on the issues faced by ordinary people, such as harvesters (The Gleaners and I, 2000), drifters (Vagabond, 1985) and on women in particular (Cleo from 5 to 7, 1962).
A rare female voice in the New Wave movement, Varda’s works are often considered feminist because of her use of female protagonists.
Varda was making movies until the end. At the age of 89, she partnered with the French photographer and muralist known as JR on “Faces Places”, a film that featured the two wandering through rural France and encountering the locals.
World pays tribute to movie icon
Tributes to the grande dame of French cinema came from all over the world following the announcement of her death.
“Shaken, overwhelmed, bereaved: these feelings that come with the certainty that we have just lost one of the greatest artists of our time,” tweeted French Culture Minister Franck Riester.
Mexican film director Guillermo del Toro said : “Agnes Varda loved cinema and was loved by cinema in return.” “She was a highlight of my life. The youngest soul I ever met.”