AGNÈS GODARD   AFC

Born: 28 May 1951, Dun-sur-Auron, Cher, France.

Education: IDHEC, Paris, France [graduated in 1980].

Career: Originally studied journalism, but switched to film after several years, graduating from the IDHEC in 1980. Started as c.asst. Her first project as a cinematographer was Wim Wenders' 'Chambre 666', made for television. There she met Claire Denis, who was working as Wenders' assistant director.

Appeared in the doc 'Women Behind the Camera' [2001-2006, Alexis Krasilovsky].

An exhibition of her photos, 'My Favorite Dance', opened in Paris in October 2014 [+ book published by Editions du Seuil].

Awards: Camerimage 'Golden Frog' nom [1994] for 'J'ai pas sommeil'; Torino IFF 'Equal Rights Award' [1994] for 'Tous les garçons et les filles de leur âge...'; Camerimage 'Golden Frog' nom [1997] for 'Nénette et Boni'; 'César' Award nom [1999] for 'La vie rêvée des anges'; 'César' Award [2001], BSFC Award 'Runner-up' [2000], European Film Award nom [2000] & NSFC Award [2001] for 'Beau travail'; Chlotrudis Award [2004] for 'Vendredi soir'; 'César' Award nom [2004] for 'Les égarés'; Premi 'David di Donatello' nom [2007] for 'Nuovomondo'; Premio ADF [2008] & 'César' Award nom [2008] for 'Home'; Prix spécial de la Commission Supérieure Technique de l'Image et du Son [CST] [2009] for her oeuvre; Chlotrudis Award nom [2010] for '35 rhums'; Marburger Kamerapreis [2012].

 


'L'enfant d'en haut/Sister': Ms. Godard's work on Ursula Meier's 'L'enfant d'en haut/Sister' was a turning point in her long career: the first time she used a digital camera.

'It was quite an experience,' Ms. Godard said on a recent afternoon in her airy loft - a converted boiler-works factory - in the 11th Arrondissement here [Paris]. Pale, lithe and silver-haired, she spoke in a thoughtful, hushed, Gauloise-induced rasp. 'It's really a very big change to move from film to digital. The images don't have the same texture, the poetic charge is different, so you have to reinvent the images.'

In the film, Simon (Kacey Mottet Klein) lives with his older sister (Léa Seydoux) in a housing complex at the foot of a luxury ski resort in the Swiss Alps. At 12, the boy is the family's scrappy breadwinner, hitching a ride on a chairlift each day to pilfer ski equipment from the tourists before reselling it in the valley below, while his self-absorbed sister drifts in and out of view.

It's a worrying setup, but the film is more inspired by fables and Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales than gritty social realism, and Ms. Godard was determined to give it a look that would subtly reinforce that idea.

'Digital demands a very technical approach to the image,' she said, 'whereas before with film, even if there was a technical base, you could slide more easily toward a more intuitive approach. With digital, the camera sees more than us, and that's a gap to fill that's very technical and very strange and difficult to master.'

Ms. Godard said she relied on maneuvers like adding blue light to the Christmas tree in Simon's apartment to subtly heighten the visual atmosphere of the film. 'The idea of adding color was to try and make something different out of this new medium,' she said, 'not to try to recreate what we had with film, because that's a lost cause. Digital images have such precision that they are practically implacable. And what is implacable is violent, so I think it's almost opposed to the possibility of creating fiction.' [From article by Kristin Hohenadel in The New York Times, September 28, 2012.]

 


 

 FILMS

1983

Chronique du Palais de la Méditerranée [Thierry Thomas] 16mm/c; short/25m

1985

La petite danseuse de 14 ans d'Edgar Degas/La danseuse de 14 ans [Henri Alekan] 16mm/c; dance film/6m; cph: François Ede; ep of series 'Le musée dansé'; prod for Musée d'Orsay

1986

Charlotte chocolat [Valérie Malek & Béatrice Sebbah] 16mm/c; short/10m

1986

Fantoches! [Pierre Barletta] c; short/13m; cph: Luc Pagès

1987

Dernière fugue [Miguel Vassy] 16mm/c; short/12m; cph: Solange Martin

1988

Tumulte [Anne Dreyfus & Camille Guichard] 16mm/c; dance film/8m; cph: Dominique Gentil

1988

Un geste simple [Alain Peyrollaz] c; short/9m

1989

Les chants de l'ombre [Clara Ott] b&w; short/19m

1990

Jacquot [de Nantes] [Agnès Varda] b&w-c; doc + dram seq/118m; cph: Patrick Blossier & Georges Strouvé

1991

Keep It for Yourself [Claire Denis] b&w; short/40m

1992

L'absence/Die Abwesenheit [Peter Handke] c

1992

Dimanche soir [Solange Martin] c; short/6m

1992

La robe à cerceau/The Hoop Skirt [Claire Denis] b&w; short/24m

1993

La vis/The Screw [Didier Flamand] b&w; short/19m

1993

Sida, paroles de l'un à l'autre [Paule Muxel & Bertrand de Solliers] c; doc/67m

1993

J'ai pas sommeil/I Can't Sleep [Claire Denis] c

1993

[Sida -] Une histoire qui n'a pas de fin/Aids, a Story That Knows No End [Paule Muxel & Bertrand de Solliers] c; doc/95m

1993

Canova mutilé [Jacques Deschamps] 16mm/c; doc/35m

1994

Le géographe Manuel [Michel Sumpf] b&w/silent (1st part) & c/sound (2nd part); cph: Denis Lenoir, William Lubtchansky, Pascal Marti, Jacques Loiseleux, Dominique Chapuis, Renato Berta, Raoul Coutard, Romain Winding, a.o.

1994

À propos de Nice, la suite [seg 'Nice, Very Nice' dir by Claire Denis] c; 7 seg; other ph: Laurent Dailland, Nathalie Crédou, a.o.

1995

Sida, paroles de familles [Paule Muxel & Bertrand de Solliers] c; doc/93m

1995

Nénette et Boni [Claire Denis] s16-35bu/c

1997

La vie rêvée des anges/The [Daydreams] [Dreamlife] of Angels [Erick Zonca] s16-35bu/c

1997

L'arrière-pays [Jacques Nolot] c

1998

La nouvelle ève/The New Eve [Catherine Orsini] c

1998

Il suffirait d'un pont [Solveig Dommartin] c; short/20m; cph: Gérard Mercier

1998

La vie ne me fait pas peur/Life Doesn't Scare Me [Noémie Lvovsky] c; cph: Bertrand Chatry

1998

Beau travail/Good Work [Claire Denis] c

1999

Le secret [Virginie Wagon] c; cph: Jean-Marc Fabre; 2uc: Pierre Milon

2000

Trouble Every Day [Claire Denis] c

2000

La répétition/Replay [Catherine Corsini] c

2001

Au plus près du paradis/Nearest to Heaven [Tonie Marshall] p/c

2001

Ten Minutes Older: The Cello [seg 'Vers Nancy' dir by Claire Denis] b&w-c; 8 seg + links; other ph: Lajos Koltai, Fabio Cianchetti, Andreas Höfer, Pascal Rabaud, a.o.

2001

Vendredi soir/Friday Night [Claire Denis] 35mm+s16-to-35mm/c

2002

Les égarés/Strayed [André Téchiné] c

2003

Wild Side [Sébastien Lifshitz] c

2004

L'intrus/The Intruder [Claire Denis] s35/c

2004

Vers Mathilde [Claire Denis] c; doc/84m; cph: Hélène Louvart

2004

Backstage [Emmanuelle Bercot] c

2005

Nuovomondo/The Golden Door [Emanuele Crialese] s35/c; ph Rome: Gergely Pohárnok

2006

Ensemble, c'est tout/Hunting and Gathering [Claude Berri] c

2006

Lady Godiva [Vicky Jewson] scope/c; French unit ph; ph: George Stephenson

2007

Home [Ursula Meier] s35-to-35mm/ c

2007

35 rhums/35 Shots of Rum [Claire Denis] s35-to-35mm/ c

2008

Partir/Leaving [Catherine Corsini] c

2009

Trésor [Claude Berri & François Dupeyron (replaced C. Berri, who died in January)] c

2009

Simon Werner a disparu.../Lights Out/Love Like Blood [Fabrice Gobert] s35-to-35mm/c

2010

Où va la nuit/The Long Falling [Martin Provost] c

2011

L'enfant d'en haut/Sister [Ursula Meier] HD (ARRI ALEXA)-to-35mm (+ D-Cinema)/c

2011

Tu honoreras ta mère et ta mère/A Greek Type of Problem [Brigitte Roüan] HD (ARRI ALEXA)/c

2012

Los insólitos peces gato/Les drôles de poissons-chats/The Amazing Catfish [Claudia Sainte-Luce] RED Epic/c

2012

L'armée du salut/Salvation Army [Abdellah Taïa] HD (ARRI ALEXA)/c; filmed July & November

2012

Les salauds/Bastards [Claire Denis] RED Epic-to-D-Cinema/c

2013

La ritournelle/Folies Bergère/Paris Follies [Marc Fitoussi] RED Epic/c; 2uc: Pierre-Hugues Galien; filmed February/March & September

2013

Les ponts de Sarajevo/Bridges of Sarajevo/I ponti di Sarajevo [seg (RED Epic) 'Silence Mujo/Quiet Mujo' dir by Ursula Meier] HD-to-digital/b&w-c; 13 seg

2013

The Falling [Carol Morley] c

2014

Voilà l'enchaînement [Claire Denis] HD/c; short/30m

2014

Kacey Mottet Klein, Naissance d'un acteur [Ursula Meier] c; doc/14m; addph: U. Meier & Jeanne Rektorik

2015

When the Day Had No Name [Teona Strugar Mitevska] HD (Sony F55)/c

 TELEVISION

1982

Chambre 666/Room 666 [Wim Wenders] doc/45m/16mm; filmed at the Cannes IFF

1990

Jacques Rivette, le veilleur [Claire Denis & Serge Daney] doc/b&w-c/v/124m; ep series 'Cinéma de notre temps'

1992

Histoires autour de la folie [Paule Muxel & Bertrand de Solliers] 2-part doc/208m

1994

US Go Home [Claire Denis] tvm/68m/s16; ep #2 of 9-part series 'Tous les garçons et les filles de leur âge'

1995

Fare un film per me è vivere/Making a Film for Me Is Living/To Make a Film Is to Be Alive [Enrica Antonioni] doc/b&w-c/52m/v

1995

Duo [Claire Denis] tvm/5m; ep 7-part series 'Picture House'

1995

Jeunesse sans Dieu [Catherine Corsini] tvm

1997

Les années lycée: Petites [Noémie Lvovsky] tvm; cph: Bertrand Chatry

 FILMS AS CAMERA ASSISTANT/OPERATOR

1981

Der Stand der Dinge/The State of Things [Wim Wenders] c.asst Portugal; ph: Henri Alekan, Fred Murphy & Martin Schäfer

1982

La truite/The Trout [Joseph Losey] 2nd asst op; ph: Henri Alekan

1983

Paris, Texas [Wim Wenders] co-c.asst; ph: Robby Müller

1983

Wundkanal. Hinrichtung für vier Stimmen/Exécution à quatre voix/Doktor S. [Thomas Harlan] ?; ph: Henri Alekan

1984

L'amour à mort/Love Unto Death [Alain Resnais] co-c.asst; ph: Sacha Vierny

1985

[Zoo:] A Zed & Two Noughts [Peter Greenaway] co-c.asst; ph: Sacha Vierny

1985

The Perfect Kiss [Jonathan Demme; mus short] co-c.asst; ph: Henri Alekan

1986

Der Himmel über Berlin/Les ailes du désir/Wings of Desire [Wim Wenders] c.op; ph: Henri Alekan

1987

The Belly of an Architect [Peter Greenaway] c.op; ph: Sacha Vierny

1987

Chocolat [Claire Denis] c.op; ph: Robert Alazraki

1989

Après la guerre [Jean-Loup Hubert] c.asst; ph: Claude Lecomte

1990

Daddy Nostalgie/These Foolish Things [Bertrand Tavernier] c.op; ph: Denis Lenoir

1990

S'en fout la mort/No Fear, No Die [Claire Denis] c.op; ph: Pascal Marti

1991

Prague [Ian Sellar] c.op; ph: Darius Khondji

1994

Al di là delle nuvole/Beyond the Clouds/Jenseits der Wolken [Michelangelo Antonioni & (prologue/interludes/epilogue) Wim Wenders] co-c.op 2u; ph: Alfio Contini (with M. Antonioni) & Robby Müller (with W. Wenders)

 FILMS AS DIRECTOR

1982

La lumière sous la porte [short/12m; + scrpl] ph: Patrick Blossier