“This is all you need in life: a computer, a camera, and a cat.”
– Agnès Varda, Director
Agnès Varda and cats – Ernest Chan Chi Wah (Film Critic)
As in L’une chante, l’autre pas (One Sings, The Other Doesn’t, 1976), the exploration of feminine identities and perspectives has always been a central theme in Varda’s works, whereas the notion of time, memory and death are also recurrent. Besides, cat has been a distinctive element throughout. Cats were seen everywhere in her debut La Pointe Courte and became both the witness and symbol of the male-female relationships. When Varda talked about her good friend Chris Marker In Les plages d’Agnès（The Beaches of Agnès, 2008）, it was his catoonish surrogate, a Guillaume-en-Egypte with orange fur that appeared on screen. The production house Ciné-Tamaris, funded at the time of the making of La pointe courte, alsohas Varda’s own cat Zgougou appearing on its emblem. In her short film Le lion volatil (The Vanishing Lion, 2003), the lion statue on Place of Denfert-Rochereau was replaced with Zgougou since the cat symbolized calmness and the looming change. With shells and paper flowers, she created the video installation work Le Tombeau de Zgougou (The Tomb of Zgougou, 2006) when her beloved cat passed away.