Varda channels 'Bande à part' in EW's exclusive clip from her new documentary
With films like Cléo from 5 to 7 and Happiness, Agnès Varda helped shape facets of the French New Wave aesthetic throughout the 1960s, and in EW’s exclusive clip from Faces Places — her new documentary made in collaboration with visual artist JR — the cinema legend is paying tribute to a fellow visionary of the unofficial movement: Jean-Luc Godard.
“We wanted to poke a little fun at Godard. He’d had three of his characters run at top speed down the Louvre’s Grand Gallery to break a record for crossing the museum,” Varda, speaking to JR, introduces their fresh take on the classic sequence from the director’s 1964 film Bande à part. “I no longer run, but I had you.”
The film then cuts to a long shot of JR pushing Varda into the famous gallery in a wheelchair, the same location Godard’s cast — including Anna Karina — dashed through some five decades earlier.
Faces Places has been described as a highly personal exploration of Varda’s life, legacy, memories, and ties to filmmakers like Godard, though it also highlights her physical struggle in her later years, particularly focusing on her deteriorating vision.
The film world-premiered at Cannes earlier this year, where it was first tipped as a strong contender for the best documentary feature Oscar before traveling to Toronto and New York to screen at additional awards-positioning film festivals. Later, on Sept. 6, the Academy announced it will honor Varda alongside actor Donald Sutherland, director Charles Burnett, and cinematographer Owen Roizman with Honorary Oscars at its 9th annual Governor’s Awards ceremony on Nov. 11.
Faces Places will be released in theaters on Oct. 6. Watch EW’s exclusive clip from the film above.