“I should stop talking to me, and now, I must prepare myself to say goodbye, from” said Agnès Varda, about a month ago at the Berlinale film festival, to announce his retirement as artistic. The words echo today as a sad prophecy. The director of Cleo from 5 to 7, and Without roof or law , has died of a cancer, in the night from Thursday to Friday, have announced the members of his family and his entourage on Friday at the AFP. She was 90 years old.

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“The filmmaker and artist Agnès Varda died in her home in the night died of cancer. His family and his loved ones surrounded him,” they announced in a press release. “She died that night”, confirmed to the AFP Cecilia Pink Tamaris productions, producer of his films for the past 17 years. “She should have inaugurated this evening an exhibition at Chaumont-sur-Loire, which will now open without it”, she added.

Filmmaker internationally recognized, one of the few female directors of the New wave, a woman of convictions, having built an original work, often a pioneer, in at the frontier between documentary and fiction, Agnès Varda was the author of Cleo from 5 to 7 (1962), Without roof or law (1985), The Marauders and the mound building (2000), The Beaches of Agnès (2009), or Faces, villages (2017) with the artist JR. His latest documentary, Varda by Agnès , was presented in February at the Berlin film Festival and aired recently on Arte.

“I have done a lot of conferences everywhere, in universities, film schools, all sorts of places, festivals, even small cine-clubs. And I said to myself that I should now make a movie that is like a conference”, she explained then.

trailer for Cleo from 5 to 7

Born may 30, 1928 in Brussels, Belgium, it was imposed in 1962 as a director emblematic of the New wave with the film Cleo from 5 to 7 , with Corinne Marchand, before multiplying the critical success, including one sings, the other not (1977), the poetical Jacquot de Nantes (1991), or the documentary The Marauders and the mound building (2000), where it points out the drifts of the consumer society.

Awarded the golden Lion at the Venice film festival, Without roof or law (1985) has been his biggest public success. The filmmaker tells the story of the last two months of Mona, a young homeless girl and without a hitch, wonderfully embodied by Sandrine Bonnaire, found dead of cold on the road. The actress was awarded, in 1986, the Cesar of the best actress award for her wonderful performance.

trailer for Without roof or law

In 2008, she realized, The Beaches of Agnès , a self-portrait concerning welcomed in Venice and the Cesar of best documentary film. In his latest success, Faces, Villages , she walked the France in the van with the artist JR. Companion of the filmmaker Jacques Demy, who died in 1990, with whom she raised two children and shared many of the artistic projects, she has received an academy award of honor in 2017.

a Pioneer of the New wave, it was shown in Berlin, in February, his new documentary Varda by Agnès. In this movie in two parts in the form of a lesson in cinema, she evoked her career of over 60 years of age, his inspirations, and a more recent period more oriented towards the documentary film and the visual arts.

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Woman of the avant-garde, she has told its beginning in 1954, through the story of his first fiction feature film, The Peak short . “There were very few women directors, she recalled. But when I made this film, what interested me, this was not to say “I’m a woman filmmaker,” it was to make a film radical”.

“Upset, overwhelmed, grief-stricken: these feelings that accompany the certainty that we have just lost one of the greatest artists of our time. Agnès Varda, I testify to you my respect, my gratitude and my admiration,” responded the minister of Culture, Franck Riester on Twitter.