‘Agnès Varda: From Here to There’ to Screen at the Film Society May 31

Posted by Brian Brooks on 5.20.2014

Often referred to as "mother of the French New Wave," Agnès Varda will take the spotlight May 31 at the Film Society of Lincoln Center ahead of SundanceNOW Doc Club's "Agnès Varda Month," which begins June 1.

Agnès Varda: From Here to There, a five-part documentary series about the filmmaker/artist, which will be featured on Doc Club, will have its New York premiere as a free screening in the Amphitheater at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center.

Varda’s series, which originally aired on French television, chronicles the indefatigable filmmaker’s travels around the world, as she meets friends, artists, and filmmakers, providing an expansive view of the global contemporary art scene. Whether in Los Angeles or St. Petersburg, Lisbon or Mexico, Varda finds herself in good company, whether attending a moving celebration of Jacques Demy, conversing with Aleksandr Sokurov, visiting Chris Marker at his home, or dancing with Manoel de Oliveira. Varda films everywhere, never letting her camera leave her side, and then assembles these images and impressions in her own original way. Steeped in the nature of both television’s playfulness and cinema’s fantasy, each encounter is infused with the director’s characteristic insight, inquisitiveness, and wonder. Comprised of five episodes, each approximately 45 minutes, Agnès Varda: From Here to There is a joyous celebration of life, art, and humankind.

As part of the celebration, IFC Center's Stranger Than Fiction series will host a screening of Varda's most recent theatrical release, Beaches of Agnès on May 27.

"Agnès Varda has long been one of the great trailblazers of French cinema," said Dennis Lim, the Film Society's Director of Programming. "Her five-part series From Here to There is wide-ranging in every sense. It's one of her most ambitious works, as well as one of her most entertaining, filled with casual insights and moments of offhand beauty, and we are delighted to have the opportunity to present it here on a big screen."

SundanceNOW Doc Club's month-long Varda series will feature The Beaches of Agnès, Daguerréotypes, and Cinévardaphoto in conjunction with The Cinema Guild. Also available for streaming, as part of the series, is Varda’s iconic The Gleaners and I.

Episode 1:
A visit to Chris Marker’s apartment, a conversation about art and media—and a journey into Second Life. A train to Nantes for a celebration of Jacques Demy and his landmark film Lola starring Anouk Aimée on the 20th anniversary of his death. Then, a meeting with the head of the city’s Art Museum. Later, a trip to Portugal, where Manoel de Oliveira turns the camera on Varda and invites her for a dance.

Episode 2:
A visit with artist Miquel Barceló, who shows Varda the unique tools he’s developed for his paintings. A trip to Brussels for the inauguration of the Magritte Museum. A talk with friend and designer Hans-Ulrich Obrist, creator of Varda’s famous potato costume, which she wore for the Venice Biennale in 2003.

Episode 3:
Trips to Cologne, St. Petersburg, where Varda talks with the famously guarded Aleksandr Sokurov, and then Art Basel. Lunch with sculptor Christian Boltanski and artist Annette Messager. A chat with Beaches of Agnès cinematographer Hélène Louvart, who’s also collaborated with Wim Wenders, Claire Denis, and Christophe Honoré.

Episode 4:
On Sète, in the Mediterranean, Varda talks with an old friend artist Pierre Soulages on his terrace overlooking the sea. A visit to two brothers she met years ago while working on her famous “Cabin on the Beach” installation. Then, the Lyon Biennale, and conversations with participating artists.

Episode 5:
Varda visits the Maillol Museum in Paris on the occasion of a Vanitas exhibit. Then Mexico for a conversation with filmmaker Carlos Reygadas (Japón, Silent Light, Post Tenebras Lux), who shares his interests and ideas about film. Finally, Los Angeles and a memorial to Jim Morrison.

Free tickets for the Amphitheater screening will be distributed at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center box office (144 West 65th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam) on a first-come, first-served basis starting one hour prior to the screening. Limit one complimentary ticket per person, subject to availability.

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