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Meet Agnès Godard

Cinematographer, photography director and photographer

Meet Agnès Godard - illustration 1

Agnès Godard

Cinematographer and photographer Agnès Godard has enjoyed an illustrious career spanning 30 years in cinematic photography direction and later art photography. Discover more about her debut photography series, how she got her start in the industry and her biggest artistic influences!

1. Hello Agnès! You started your career in journalism, before turning to cinematography and directing photography. What motivated this choice? Where does your passion for cinema and producing images stem from?

Hello! So, I took a detour before going to study at IDHEC (formerly FEMIS), because my family had other projects for me like those of my brothers. However, although unbeknownst to him, it was my father who gave me a taste for photography. While working as a veterinarian, photography was a big part of his life. When he died 40 years ago, I inherited some 5000 pictures.

2. You are also a photographer and exhibited your first series "My Favorite Dance" at the Galerie Cinéma in 2015, what made you want to get started?

Being a director of photography means working with a director on their project: accompanying, interpreting, blending into their imagination. With "My Favorite Dance", I wanted to start, not from an existing project, but rather from my own "fantasy".

Luckily this series impressed Anne-Dominique Toussaint enough to make it an exhibition in her gallery, the Galerie Cinéma- the ideal place.

Meet Agnès Godard - illustration 1
Meet Agnès Godard - illustration 1

Left: Agnès Godard's exhibition “My Favorite Dance" / Right: Galerie Cinéma

3. What inspired this series? How did you create it?

I discovered, while working with Henri Alekan, Rodin's drawings, and especially his watercolors. I found them delightful: images simultaneously invented and real, so furtive that it seemed impossible to see them with the naked eye, that they could only have been painted.

I wanted to find out how to create them, capture them and make them visible with a camera.

4. After 30 years of conveying the ideas of filmmakers, you are now revealing your own vision. How have your past experiences influenced your own artistic expression?

Basically, it's an extension of my profession. In fact, to make these images I proceeded as I would for a film. I wrote down the concerns within a couple's relationship, chose actors (Emmanuelle Bercot and Stéphane Bouquet), filmed and edited the images.

By the end of this process, I was able to find what I was looking for in certain photographs .

Meet Agnès Godard - illustration 1
Meet Agnès Godard - illustration 1

Left: Godard with Anne-Dominique Toussaint and Stéphane Bouquet / Right: Agnès Godard and Emmanuelle Bercot

5. As well as this, which artists particularly inspire you ?

If we're talking about filmmakers, the list is endless... it goes from the Lumière brothers to David Lynch... I can't make a list, I'll forget some!

On the other hand, I can say Alberto Giacometti. I have a limitless admiration for his sculptures, where we are unsure if they have just been "born" or they've been exhumed, just as I am transfixed by Faulkner's writing, which makes the existence of his characters palpable. 

6. You have a unique style, recognizable by the texture and sensuality of your images. How do you explain this particular grain? 

My work is a mixture of conviction, technique, intuition and doubt; in other words it leaves little room for explanation. 

I just know that the photographic process has always had an impact on me, and the effect it produces, whether the images are still or moving, constantly brings me back to the mystery of existence. This thought is insatiable.

7. Finally, if you had to name a film that you have worked on and that has particularly impacted you, which one would you choose and why?

It's hard to make a choice, each film is unique.

However, the recollection of "Beau Travail" by Claire Denis remains the most striking for its boldness and spirituality. We filmed without ever seeing the images we were producing. This invited us to dare, it is the fruit of a collective experience that went very high, without knowing it at the time.


Their favourite artworks

Agnès Godard, My Favorite Dance - Série 1 #2, Photography

Agnès Godard

My Favorite Dance - Série 1 #2, 2015
15.4 x 11.4 inch
Photography

$1,446

Agnès Godard, My Favorite Dance, Photography

Agnès Godard

My Favorite Dance, 2015
22.8 x 17.3 inch
Photography

$1,687

Agnès Godard, My Favorite Dance - Série 4 #2, Photography

Agnès Godard

My Favorite Dance - Série 4 #2, 2015
15.4 x 11.4 inch
Photography

$1,446

Agnès Godard, My Favorite Dance - Série 2 #3, Photography

Agnès Godard

My Favorite Dance - Série 2 #3, 2015
15.4 x 11.4 inch
Photography

$1,446

Agnès Godard, My Favorite Dance - Série 2 #4, Photography

Agnès Godard

My Favorite Dance - Série 2 #4, 2015
15.4 x 11.4 inch
Photography

$1,446

Agnès Godard, My Favorite Dance - Série 4 #6, Photography

Agnès Godard

My Favorite Dance - Série 4 #6, 2015
15.4 x 11.4 inch
Photography

$1,446

Agnès Godard, My Favorite Dance - Série 5 #1, Photography

Agnès Godard

My Favorite Dance - Série 5 #1, 2015
15.4 x 11.4 inch
Photography

$1,446

Agnès Godard, My Favorite Dance - Série 5 #2, Photography

Agnès Godard

My Favorite Dance - Série 5 #2, 2015
15.4 x 11.4 inch
Photography

$1,446

Agnès Godard, My Favorite Dance - Série 7 #1, Photography

Agnès Godard

My Favorite Dance - Série 7 #1, 2015
15.4 x 11.4 inch
Photography

$1,446

Agnès Godard, My Favorite Dance - Série 7 #5, Photography

Agnès Godard

My Favorite Dance - Série 7 #5, 2015
15.4 x 11.4 inch
Photography

$1,446