Agnès Varda, one of the major French filmmakers for the last forty years is here celebrated and situated by Alison Smith, by examining both the early films and the later successes, such as Sans Toit ni Loi (1985), Jane B. par Agnès V. (1987) and Jacquot de Nantes (1991). Smith considers Varda’s films in the light of her constant attention to film form, and proposes an integrated analysis of several major themes in her work, through a detailed study of her best-known or most significant films, which are then set in context against her lesser-known, but very extensive, oeuvre. The themes cover such issues as representation of place and community, representation of women and the use of memory, and are linked by a common concern with the process by which Varda transforms reality into constructed films. They owe their form to the combined subjectivity’s of the filmmaker, the subjects filmed, and the audience.
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