What is the course about?
A filmmaker who began her career in the mid-1950s, Agnès Varda was affectionately known as the ‘grandmother’ of the French New Wave, despite her more obvious affiliation with the so-called ‘left-bank’ directors such as Jacques Demy (her husband) and Alain Resnais. This one-day course will introduce you to Varda’s body of work, from her influential first feature length film, La pointe courte (1955) to her final work, Varda par Agne`s (2019), exploring her status as a ‘feminist’ filmmaker, while situating her output within France’s broader social and cultural context. The course will also consider the importance of the digital for her later career, proposing that one might consider her a broader multi-media artist rather than simply a film director.
Course tutor: Dr. Paul Sutton.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
The course will cover the film output of Agnès Varda. It will also introduce participants to the French New Wave and discuss Varda’s relationship with it. There will be some exploration of French society and culture as the context for both the French New Wave and Varda’s emergence as a filmmaker. As her career spans almost seventy years there will be some consideration of the changes experienced by France between the 1950s and the late 2010s. The course will also explore the extent to which Varda might be considered a feminist and also an artist, especially given her engagement with digital technology in her later filmmaking practice.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Have an understanding of the importance of Agnès Varda as an internationally significant female filmmaker
• Have a sense of her filmmaking output and the various forms that this took, from dramas to documentaries
• Have reached a critical appreciation of Varda’s work and her relationship to French culture and society.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
The course is for all levels. Varda’s work is wide ranging and accessible and is suitable for those who enjoy films that provoke thought and discussion. Please note that the films viewed and discussed will be subtitled as they will all be in French.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
The course will be delivered as an informal lecture/talk but there will be plenty of scope for discussion and questions throughout. The course will be supported by screening extracts from a range of Varda’s films.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Any ancillary material will be provided by the tutor.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Please look for other Film Studies courses under History, Culture and Writing/film studies at www.citylit.ac.uk.