Enter the VardaVerse: Los Angeles Countercultures 1968–1981
As the grandmother of the French New Wave—her 1955 film La Pointe Courte is unofficially considered the first of the movement—filmmaker Agnès Varda’s importance and influence on cinema history within and beyond her native France cannot be overstated. Working vigorously and spiritedly until her death at age 90 in 2019, Varda directed some two dozen features and almost as many short films, adapting her style to fit her ever-evolving curiosities and interests over her seven-decade career. Though she made her first four narrative films in France, she followed her beloved husband Jacques Demy to Hollywood in the late 1960s and adopted California as a second home, making three feature films and three shorts there within a 12-year period.
Her time in the Golden State was clearly inspired by the countercultural scenes that evolved from the bevy of artists, musicians, and New Hollywood filmmakers that comprised the zeitgeist of this fertile period in visual art in Southern California. To showcase her influence and suggest her inspirations, this program—which spotlights her Los Angeles films Lions Love (…and Lies) (1969), Mur murs (1981), and Documenteur (1981)—places these three works in dialogue with various short- and long-form films created in Los Angeles during this same period that showcase the vibe of a very specific time and place through the lens of the creatives, visionaries, iconoclasts, and outsiders who make the City of Angels so uniquely vibrant.