Agnès Varda amidst Images Sensuous Theory and Strategies of Resistance in Feminist Cinema
MetadataShow full item record
Sensuous theory has enriched the way in which we now analyze the multisensory film image as well as the embodied experience of the film viewer. Questions about the corporeality and sensuousness of the director, however, are addressed much less frequently from this perspective. Yet it is precisely this aspect that strikes me as particularly interesting, as it allows us to revisit the issue of the creative strategies employed by women in the cinema, and to pose questions about the meaning and status of the sensuous involvement of the female director in the production of her film. Does her corporeality, her physiological and sensory experience affect how the character are created, how the world is depicted, or, more significantly, the very matter of the film image? Can this involvement also become a conscious tactic of resistance against the dominant narrative and visual structures of “male cinema”? Taking these questions as my point of departure, I focus on the film of Agnès Varda The Beaches of Agnès (Les plages d’Agnès, 2008), which may be regarded as a statement that is just as personal and self-referential as it is possible to universalize. Varda uses the film as a way to examine her own life and art in the context of the history of cinema in the latter half of the 20th century, paying particular attention to the French New Wave, auteur cinema, independent film, and politically and socially engaged cinema. In The Beaches of Agnès Varda reiterates questions about her own status as a female director, accentuating the corporeal, sensuous, and affective connections with the film image, filmed objects, people, and places, the film crew, and, ultimately, the cinema as such.
The following license files are associated with this item: