Agnès Varda and the Reinvention of the Flâneuse



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This interdisciplinary thesis examines Agnès Varda’s inhabitation of the flâneuse in the city space, the national space, and the international space. Varda goes beyond showing a character as a flâneuse, but is the flâneuse herself. The flâneuse is a female wanderer who observes the cityscape. The term originates from the male wanderer, the flâneur. Varda extends flânerie beyond the cityscapes and goes into unfamiliar territories. This work closely analyzes Varda’s narrative and documentary films that take place in Paris, the French countryside, California, Iran, and Cuba. By studying these films, the thesis reveals Varda’s relationship with psychogeography, feminism, and space. Ultimately, the thesis will lead to an understanding of the essence of the female perspective and of how the female gaze observes the changes that occur around her and the subject as she documents it through film. Varda embodies this idea as she moves from portraying the flâneuse by following the rules of flânerie to becoming the flâneuse by breaking all the rules of flânerie and presenting other scenarios in which flânerie can take place.



Flâneuse, Flânerie, Flâneur, Psychogeography, Space, Documentary, Narrative, Film studies