January 31, 2018No Comments

Les glaneurs et la glaneuse – Agnes Varda – 2000

Combining a humanistic approach to its subjects with an almost child-like curiosity, the documentaries of Agnès Varda are special. With a starting point on Jean François Millet’s 1857 painting The Gleaners, depicting poor peasants picking whatever food was left after the crops were harvested, Varda arrives at today’s phenomena of food, material and life waste. By no means a scientific effort, Les glaneurs et la glaneuse is a playful and heartfelt road-trip much in the tradition of her more renowned Visage-Villages. 

At one point in the film, Varda, just having discovered the joy of small handheld video cameras, films her hands’ wrinkled skin, calmly stating that probably “the end is near”. Twenty years after she’s still going strong. Bisous!

July 30, 2017No Comments

Visages Villages – Agnes Varda, JR – 2017

Visages Villages, a playful road-trip in the company of Agnès Varda, turning 90 next year, is a gift, for this reason alone. Accompanied by visual artist JR, the two hop on and off through different places in France, plastering walls, barracks or industrial shipyards with gigantic prints and making people happy. There aren’t any hidden truths around the corners, but a collection of moments. We get to visit JR’s 100 year old grandma and see Agnes Varda become a respectful young lady. We visit a farmer, a worker’s neighbourhood, a village. JR is poking fun at times at Agnes and she hits back at him for constantly wearing sunshades. Towards the end we embark on a train ride to visit nobody else but Jean Luc Godard’s place in Switzerland. It’s no spoiler that he doesn’t receive them, right? At least he leaves a note on door, referencing some memory of their youth, that instantly tears Agnes’s eyes. She starts recounting the early days. What a glorious life these people lived. 

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