Agnes Varda: Influential film director dies at 90

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Agnes Varda was one of Europe’s most acclaimed film-makers

Belgian-born film-maker Agnes Varda has died at the age of 90.

Her family told the AFP news agency she died at her home on Thursday as a result of complications from cancer.

Varda was one of the key figures in the French New Wave in the 1960s, making films like Cleo from 5 to 7, Le Bonheur and The Creatures.

She was the first female director to be awarded an honorary Oscar in 2017, and became the oldest ever nominee for a competitive Oscar last year.

The director first came to prominence with her 1962 film Cleo from 5 to 7 and became known as the mother of the French New Wave.

She continued making acclaimed films throughout her career. Vagabond from 1985, 1988’s Kung-Fu Master, 1995’s One Hundred and One Nights and the autobiographical The Beaches of Agnes from 2008 were all hits on the festival circuit.

Her 2018 Oscar nomination came for her film Faces Places in the best documentary feature category.

Varda, who was easily recognisable for her bowl-cut bob, worked up to the end. Her autobiographical documentary – Varda by Agnes – premiered at the Berlin film festival last month.

Also a noted photographer, screenplay writer, actress and visual artist, she often used her own life as the framework for her films.

Her family told AFP in a statement: “The director and artist Agnes Varda died at her home on the night of Thursday, March 29, of complications from cancer. She was surrounded by her family and friends.”

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