Alison Smith
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Time and memory
in Agnès Varda
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The importance of time and memory is something which has always existed in Agnes Varda's work, but which has come to the fore much more visibly in her films from the 1970s onwards. This chapter deals with the ways in which both personal and social past act on the protagonists of Varda's worlds, the ways in which she evokes them and the significance she finally lends them. Ulysse is the first of Varda's films to take the theme of memory and passing time and to use it as the centre of an exploration of the work of image-making. With the advent of the 1990s, it seems that memory has returned to Varda's work and become its guiding principle and theme. The determination to turn an even potentially devastating process of grieving into life-affirming creation is perhaps what Varda means when she claims to have a 'bad relationship with memory'.

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