Irresistible Agnès Varda Retrospective Arrives at BAMPFA and SFMOMA

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The late, great Agnès Varda is often quoted saying, “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.”

Now local audiences with a desire to see more of Varda’s work have a lot to look forward to. The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive and the San Francisco Museum of Art have teamed up to co-present Agnès Varda: An Irresistible Force, a national touring retrospective organized by Janus Films. The program spans six decades, including her final film, Varda by Agnès, completed before her death earlier this year.

Still from 'Varda by Agnès,' 2019. (Courtesy of Janus Films)

The acronym-strong co-presentation between BAMPFA and SFMOMA begins Dec. 20 with advance screenings of Varda by Agnès in Berkeley. The full program includes nearly two dozen films, with repeat screenings on both sides of the Bay.

Make special note of opportunities to see Varda’s shorts, which include the Sausalito-set Uncle Yanco (1967) and Oakland-shot Black Panthers (1968). I’m personally jazzed to see Mur murs (1980), a look at the large-scale murals (many now long gone) of Los Angeles.

Agnès Varda: An Irresistible Force plays at BAMPFA Dec. 20, 2019–Feb. 28, 2020 and at SFMOMA Jan. 9–March 21, 2020. Check each institution’s site for details.

Viva Varda!