Close Up

18 August - 2 September 2018: Agnès Varda: Gleaning Truths


Tickets: £10 / £8 / £6 Close-Up members

Box Office: 02037847970

"One of the most influential and inventive artists of the French New Wave, Agnès Varda (b. 1928) has created a remarkable body of films that playfully and insightfully dance between, and beyond, the traditional categories of fiction and nonfiction, poem and prose, cinema and photography. A ceaselessly prolific artist [...], Varda’s films are inimitably varied yet deeply complementary, united around the idea of the film essay which Varda pioneered, together with her close friends and occasional collaborators Alain Resnais and Chris Marker. The high points of Varda’s long career are equally marked by narrative features such as Cleo From 5 to 7 as by ruminative film essays such as The Gleaners and I and those works like Vagabond that ambiguously blend fiction and documentary.


Varda coined the term cinécriture, or “cine-writing,” to describe her unique method of filmmaking, whereby every aspect of the film is carefully planned in order to extract the greatest possible resonance from the juxtaposition of image and sound and the overall rhythm of the film defined by its editing structure. The result is a combination of the highly subjective and the sociological, providing Varda with the opportunity to simultaneously indulge in the documentary impulses that have fascinated her throughout her career – shooting on the streets, using non-professional actors to play roles similar to themselves – while crafting intricate and moving stories involving fictional characters whose stories are reflected in and enhanced by the documentary details picked up by Varda’s ever inquisitive eye." – Harvard Film Archive

La pointe courte
Agnès Varda
1955 | 86 min | B/W | Digital
French with English subtitles

Anticipating the style and attitude of the New Wave, Agnès Varda’s directorial debut remains as fresh and original as the day it was made. Set in a declining Mediterranean fishing village, the film portrays both the complex relationship between a married couple, exceptionally played by Silvia Monfort and Philippe Noiret, and the economic difficulties facing the wider community. Remarkably assured and insightful, the film bears the realist approach, social comment and filmmaking flair that would become Varda’s hallmarks. read more

Cleo From 5 to 7
Agnès Varda
1962 | 90 min | B/W | Digital
French with English subtitles

Agnès Varda’s skilfully captures Paris at the height of the 60s in this intriguing tale expertly presented in real time about a singer whose life is in turmoil as she awaits a test result from a biopsy. As Cléo readies herself to meet with her doctor she meets several friends and strangers, and grapples with her idea of her own mortality. read more

Le bonheur
Agnès Varda
1965 | 118 min | Colour | Digital
French with English subtitles

In one of Agnès Varda’s more provocative films, she presents us with the dilemma faced by husband and father Francois (Jean-Claude Drouot) who finds himself falling in love with an attractive postal worker. What follows is a detailed study of adult fidelity and happiness, which will ultimately end with major repercussions for all parties involved. read more

One Sings, the Other Doesn’t
Agnès Varda
1977 116 min | Colour | Digital
French with English subtitles

Agnès Varda focuses on the intertwined lives of two women brought together during the struggle of the women’s movement in 1970s France. This subject that remains all too familiar with Varda who was personally involved with the movement. read more

Agnès Varda
1985 | 105 min | Colour | Digital
French with English subtitles

Sandrine Bonnaire won a Best Actress César for her portrayal as Mona – a young and defiant drifter in this tragic story. Using a largely non-professional cast, Agnès Varda’s splintered portrait of the enigmatic woman is told through flashbacks of those who encountered her. read more

Jacquot de Nantes
Agnès Varda
1991 | 118 min | B/W | Digital
French with English subtitles

Jacquot de Nantes tells the story of a child and his obsession of pursuing his dream to become a filmmaker. How he buys his first camera, shoots his first amateur film which marks the beginning of one of the most prestigious careers of any French director: Jacques Demy. read more

The Gleaners and I
Agnès Varda
2000 | 82 min | Colour | Digital
French with English subtitles

An 1867 painting by Jean-Francois Millet inspired septuagenarian documentarian Agnes Varda to cross the French countryside to videotape people who scavenge. Taking everything from surplus in the fields, to rubbish in trashcans, to oysters washed up after a storm, the “gleaners” range from those sadly in need to those hoping to recreate the community activity of centuries past, and still others who use whatever they find to cobble together a rough art. read more

The Beaches of Agnès
Agnès Varda
2008 | 110 min | Colour | Digital
French with English subtitles

In this autobiographical documentary, celebrated French filmmaker Agnes Varda provides a window into her eventful life as she revisits various locales that have been important to her. Interspersed between these trips are interviews with Varda’s collaborators and family members, as well as archive footage and still photographs. This eclectic mix provides both a history of the subject and an illuminating tour of an artist’s mind and creative process. read more






La pointe courte Saturday 18.08.18 8:30 pm Book
Cleo from 5 to 7 Sunday 19.08.18 8:10 pm Book
Le bonheur Friday 24.08.18 7:30 pm Book
One Sings, the Other Doesn't Saturday 25.08.18 7:30 pm Book
Vagabond Sunday 26.08.18 8:30 pm Book
The Gleaners and I Saturday 01.09.18 6:00 pm Book
The Beaches of Agnès Sunday 02.09.18 6:00 pm Book
Jaquot de nantes Sunday 02.09.18 8:30 pm Book