Director Agnès Varda co-stars and co-directs a documentary with photographer/artist JR. The two travel together to various locations in rural France, meet various locals, and arrange to have some locals' photographs enlarged and pasted on houses and buildings. Aspects of each of the pair's personal lives are also explored.
At the age of eighty-nine, it is a victory that Varda is still living well let alone still making movies let alone still making movies of high quality.
The project of this unlikely pair is very unique and engaging. Not only do they show great differences in height and size; they are two generations apart.
As the structure of the film's episodes is similar, there is an occasional feeling of repetition but this is slight as the various people have different stories. The people involved are average folks of working-class background. It's a noble attribute to put the spotlight on those considered "ordinary" who still exude a certain charm with their modesty.
The movie's final segments are the best as they focus on the starring couple. JR's 100-year-old grandmother, like the movie's other subjects, exudes a modest charm that is heart-warming. Varda's recall of the people of her past is intriguing as well as moving especially when she slips out her thoughts on mortality.
The final scene is truly a grand finale as it culminates so much especially the bonding of JR and Varda. Without revealing too much (only to say that it involves another French cinema legend), it easily takes in the viewer with that most familiar of emotions: disappointment. It also reminds one of how new disappointments sadly make one recall old ones.
There are many directors who direct themselves for movies but in nearly all cases, those films are fictional. In directing herself in documentaries (other fine ones include "The Gleaners and I" (2000) and "The Beaches of Agnès (2008)), Varda shows not only courage in revealing in what most international cinema legends would want to keep private, she also gives viewers yet another delightful documentary subject: herself. And JR too, of course.
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.
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April 09, 2018 at 02:21 AM