French New Wave filmmaker Agnes Varda is being remembered by Hollywood as not just a legendary, influential director and pioneering voice for independent cinema, but also as a charming presence to all those she came in contact with.
“For my shooting star, wherever you are,” the French street artist JR, who collaborated with Varda on 2017’s Oscar-nominated documentary “Faces Places,” wrote on Twitter.
“Work and life were undeniably fused for this legend. She lived FULLY for every moment of those 90 damn years,” director Barry Jenkins wrote on Twitter.
“I seriously doubt that Agnès Varda ever followed in anyone else’s footsteps, in any corner of her life or her art … which were one in the same. She charted and walked her own path each step of the way, she and her camera,” Martin Scorsese said in a statement to TheWrap. “Every single one of her remarkable handmade pictures, so beautifully balanced between documentary and fiction, is like no one else’s — every image, every cut … What a body of work she left behind: movies big and small, playful and tough, generous and solitary, lyrical and unflinching … and alive.
“I saw her for the last time a couple of months ago. She knew that she didn’t have much longer, and she made every second count: she didn’t want to miss a thing. I feel so lucky to have known her. And to all young filmmakers: you need to watch Agnès Varda’s pictures,” the Oscar winner added.
Varda died Thursday at age 90 from complications with cancer while surrounded by family and friends. The director of films such as “Cleo from 5 to 7,” “Vagabond,” “The Beaches of Agnes” and many more also received an honorary Oscar in 2017, the first given to a female director.
Filmmakers like Edgar Wright, the Safdie Brothers and other filmmakers were early to praise the late director, with Wright sharing a story about meeting Varda on the awards circuit in 2017.
“Was funny to see her, smiling with bemusement, on the 2017 Oscar circuit. She knew she didn’t need one. She was already a legend,” Wright said on Twitter. “On a side note, I was at the 2017 Governor’s Award when she won her career achievement Oscar. On the same table as me was an actress who I’d never met, but hugely admired. She then talked and texted all the way through Agnès speech. I have never liked her much since.”
“The DGA mourns the loss of iconic director Agnès Varda, a leading influence in the French New Wave. Her innovative approach to filmmaking has inspired directors the world over,” Directors Guild of America president Thomas Schlamme said in a statement. “Agnès famously said, ‘In my films, I always wanted to make people see deeply. I don’t want to show things, but to give people the desire to see.’ We thank her for lighting that desire, and for six decades of cinematic inspiration.”
See more reactions to Varda’s passing below.
For my shooting star wherever you are… Agnes Varda ❤️ pic.twitter.com/M92Ha2VXky
— JR (@JRart) March 29, 2019
On a side note, I was at the 2017 Governor's Award when she won her career achievement Oscar. On the same table as me was an actress who I'd never met, but hugely admired. She then talked and texted all the way through Agnès speech. I have never liked her much since. #blinditem
— edgarwright (@edgarwright) March 29, 2019
Work and life were undeniably fused for this legend. She lived FULLY for every moment of those 90 damn years ???? pic.twitter.com/SHnRbGoDmr
— Barry Jenkins (@BarryJenkins) March 29, 2019
Last year at Cannes, Agnès Varda invited me to breakfast. She spoke of how she was in the last year of her life. About choices. And change. I told her what she meant to me. She held my hand as I did. Merci, Agnes. For your films. For your passion. For your light. It shines on. pic.twitter.com/NP2FSJACY9
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) March 29, 2019
Agnes Varda loved Cinema and was loved by Cinema in return. Sharing a few beautiful moments with her- in which she was recognized as the powerhouse she was- was a highlight of my life. The youngest soul I have ever met.
— Guillermo del Toro (@RealGDT) March 29, 2019
— sean baker (@Lilfilm) March 29, 2019
Rest in peace, Agnès Varda.
Thank you for seven decades of perpetually influential and inventive work that has moved us deeply. pic.twitter.com/vKdWuP1WRy
— Film Society of Lincoln Center (@FilmLinc) March 29, 2019
She wasn’t a cute old lady.
She was a great artist. She had the instincts, the wit and the generosity to her make art anywhere, and offer it to all of us.
For decades she didn’t get her due, because she was a woman, because she was kind. Rest in power, Agnès. pic.twitter.com/d2hzywUtHG
— Cameron Bailey (@cameron_tiff) March 29, 2019
NO ONE LIKE HER. pic.twitter.com/mtGUfjh5FI
— SAFDIE (@JOSH_BENNY) March 29, 2019
"I’m most touched when I meet people in the streets who say, ‘Thank you, you gave me a lot of happiness.’ More than when they say ‘Bravo.’ I think it’s more touching to get a ‘Thank you,’ no?"
Thank you, Agnès, our dear friend. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/SL9KVVkNv4
— Criterion Collection (@Criterion) March 29, 2019
“We all have inside ourselves a woman who walks alone on the road. In all women there is something in revolt that is not expressed.” —Agnès Varda pic.twitter.com/w4cfHTnffq
— Anna Rose Holmer (@BARFH) March 29, 2019
Immense sadness. For almost 65 years, Agnès Varda’s eyes and voice embodied cinema with endless inventiveness. The place she occupied is irreplaceable. Agnès loved images, words and people. She’s one of those whose youth will never fade. pic.twitter.com/cpquJXJtwK
— Festival de Cannes (@Festival_Cannes) March 29, 2019
I can't believe Agnès Varda is gone. What an inspiration. pic.twitter.com/FkxnGotlbH
— Barbara H. (@behalla63) March 29, 2019
“In my films, I always wanted to make people see deeply. I don’t want to show things, but to give people the desire to see.”
— Tribeca (@Tribeca) March 29, 2019
So much to love to Agnès. What an amazing woman. Her film Cleo From 5 To 7 blew my mind while studying at film school. A mandatory watch for anybody getting into film. RIP. https://t.co/arGciVlpul
— Will Darbyshire (@willdarbyshire) March 29, 2019
"In my films I want to make people see deeply. I don't want to show things but to give people the desire to see." — Agnès Varda, leading light of the French New Wave. Rest in Power ❤️ (1928–2019) pic.twitter.com/B6PnwZUMS3
— TIFF (@TIFF_NET) March 29, 2019