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16.04.2019 Europe

Agnès Varda Raises Cannes 2019 Festival Poster To Fresh Level

Rosslyn Hyams - RFI
World photo: Agnès Varda's children/poster: Flore Maqin
APR 16, 2019 EUROPE
photo: Agnès Varda's children/poster: Flore Maqin

Preparations for the 2019 Cannes Film Festival are underway. Ahead of Thursday's eagerly-awaited announcment of the line-up of films in and out of competition in this 72nd festival, the poster has been unveiled. There's little surprise about the film- personality-cum-poster-person. Agnès Varda passed away at the end of March 2019.

Graphic artist Flore Maquin has based the poster on photo of the late director, in an improbable, if not resourceful, position on the back of an unnamed crew member as she tries to find the right angle during the shoot of Agnès Varda's directorial debut, La Pointe Courte. Maquin has bathed it in trendy shades of red and orange with indigo blue.

La Pointe Courte screened in Cannes in 1955.

The film, starring then-future greats, Philippe Noiret and Sylvia Monfort, was shot in 1954 in Sète, near Montpellier on France's Mediterranean shore.

At the time 26 years old, Varda had until then been a photographer, working notably with Jean Vilar's, National People's Theatre, Théâtre National Populaire, TNP. She was no doubt used to standing on all sorts of items to capture the moment.

The Cannes Film Festival poetically writes that in the photo "she's at the top, balanced". It describes the poster shot as a sort of manifesto, containing of hints of Varda's personal characteristics that she would develop as an artist over her 65-year long career, "passion, daring, mischief, the ingredients of a recipe belonging to a free artist."

Varda was awarded an honorary Palme d'Or, Golden Palm at Cannes in 2015.

Maquin has designed many a film poster, and also the 71st Cannes poster in 2018 using a still from Jean-Luc Godard's 1965 Pierrot Le Fou.