Agnès Varda is an important and often overlooked voice in the modern French cinema. Her career pre-dates the start of the Nouvelle vague (French New Wave), and La Pointe Courte contains many elements specific to that movement that make it famous.
Varda was born Arlette Varda in Brussels, Belgium, the daughter of Christiane (née Pasquet) and Eugène Jean Varda, an engineer. Her mother was French and her father came from a family of Greek refugees from Asia Minor. Varda studied Art History at the École du Louvre before getting a job as the official photographer for the Théâtre national populaire in Paris.
Despite similarities to the French New Wave, films by Varda belonged more precisely to the complementary Rive Gauche (Left Bank) cinema movement, along with Chris Marker, Alain Resnais, Marguerite Duras, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Jean Cayrol and Henri Colpi. The group was strongly tied to the nouveau roman movement in literature and politically was positioned to the Left. Like the French New Wave, its members would often collaborate with each other.Varda was one of the five people to attend Jim Morrison's burial in 1971 in Paris at the Père Lachaise Cemetery. She was a member of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 2005 and a member of the jury at the Venice Film Festival in 1983.