Agnès Varda, cover star

Film director and artist Agnès Varda appears on the cover of not just one but two new magazines now in stores.

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The 90-year-old, Belgium-born filmmaker welcomed both Interview and Gentlewoman into the pink-painted Paris home where she has lived for decades.

Interview’s decision to put Varda on the cover of its resurrection issue – the magazine folded last year, but has now been revived – speaks volumes about the director’s recent global recognition (Varda won an honorary Oscar in 2017 for her lifetime’s work), and the confluence of Gentlewoman’s thinking perfect-binds those volumes. That Varda also featured on the cover of Interview’s inaugural issue when Andy Warhol launched the magazine in 1969 is the cherry on top.

For those unfamiliar with Varda, Interview gathered testimonies from “collaborators and conspirators” including director Ava Duvernay and actress and director Angelina Jolie.

“Agnès’s impact is beyond description,” Duvernay says. “Her work has a breadth and importance that cannot be overestimated.”

Jolie says: “She has learned to find joy in life and she transmits that to everyone around her. She’s not interested in conforming to anyone else’s idea of what a woman or an artist should be.”

Interview’s main feature is a Q&A with Varda conducted by the curator Hans Ulrich Obrist. Varda says of herself: “I’m curious. Period. I find everything interesting. Real life. Fake life. Objects. Flowers. Cats. But mostly people. If you keep your eyes open and your mind open, everything can be interesting.”

Gentlewoman runs a profile by Holly Brubach, who writes: “Over the course of nearly 40 films – features and shorts – Agnès has disrupted the conventions, mixing film and video, colour and black and white, documentary techniques and fiction, still photography and motion, ‘real people’ and actors. […] Agnès refuses to follow the textbook formulas.”

Between them, the magazines cover Varda’s views on topics including Warhol, winning the Oscar, abortion, #MeToo and Harvey Weinstein, and life after death. Varda’s most recent film Faces Places, a documentary about French rural life, is in cinemas now.

Words: Craig Nicholson

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