Agnès Varda, photographer, installation artist and pioneer of the Nouvelle Vague, is an institution of French cinema. Taking a seat on a theatre stage, she uses photos and film excerpts to provide an insight into her unorthodox oeuvre.
Jacquot Demy is a little boy at the end of the thirties. His father owns a garage and his mother is a hairdresser. The whole family lives happily and likes to sing and to go to the movies. ... See full summary »
There are two parts to this film: sequences of life in the fishing village of La Pointe Courte (a government inspector's visit, the death of a child) alternate with others following a ... See full summary »
The intertwined lives of two women in 1970s France, set against the progress of the women's movement in which Agnes Varda was involved. Pomme and Suzanne meet when Pomme helps Suzanne ... See full summary »
Mary-Jane asks, "Do all women fall in love with a boy, or just those without sons?" She's divorced with two daughters, Lucy and Loulou. Lucy has a party where Mary-Jane notices Julien, 14, ... See full summary »
Monsieur Cinema, a hundred years old, lives alone in a large villa. His memories fade away, so he engages a young woman to tell him stories about all the movies ever made. Also, a line of ... See full summary »
Agnes Varda, one of the leading lights of France's honored French New Wave cinema era, and professional photographer and muralist, J.R., partake on a special art project. Together, they travel around France in a special box truck equipped as a portable photo booth and traveling printing facility as they take photographs of people around the country. With that inspiration, they also create special colossal mural pictures of individuals, communities and places they want to honor and celebrate. Along the way, the old cinematic veteran and the young artistic idealist enjoy an odd friendship as they chat and explore their views on the world as only they can.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
You'll book a flight to France after seeing this lyrical Golden Eye Cannes winner.
"Lyrical" best expresses with poetic simplicity the greatness of Faces Places, a documentary from French director Agnes Varda and street photographer, graffiti artist, JR. Together they create a song like film that immortalizes the French countryside and the people who work there.
Cruising in their van tricked out to look like a camera, they converse with and capture in photos goatherds, farmers, coal miners, factory workers, and cheese makers. By engaging their subjects with a sincere interest in what they do (Varda comes back a second time to connect with a lady whose principled tending of goats (not burning off young horns) appeals to the still formidable, principled director.
Varda and JR's blowing up the portraits to put on the sides of buildings, hills, ant trains not only ingratiates the artists with the subjects, but also figuratively comments on the director and photographer's ability to magnify the beauty of human nature. All photographers should hope for that impact.
A recurring motif about JR's unwillingness to remove his sunglasses (I identify) reminds Varda of her New-Wave friend, Godard, leading them to attempt to visit the famed director at the end of the film. Regardless of her success in connecting, Godard serves a touchstone for the genius of Varda and friends in the '60's just as JR helps make her just as relevant today at 88.
She's a remarkable grand dame, and although some have called her work "thrift-shop cinema," she and partner JR are savvy enough to win the 2017 Golden Eye for a documentary at Cannes. Best expressing her optimism and realism, she says about her death, "I'm looking forward to it. Because that'll be that." "That" is a body of work, the present doc included, that spans a half century of sublime cinema with immortality on its mind.
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