Agnès Varda Season
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Agnès Varda Season
9 October 2018 - 4 November 2018€6 – €7
This October, Spazju Kreattiv presents a season dedicated to the films of Belgian-born director, Agnès Varda. Her films, photographs and art installations focus on documentary realism, feminist issues and social commentary with a distinctive experimental style. We are screening three important films from her canon (Cleo from 5 to 7, Vagabond, and One Sings, The Other Doesn’t) alongside her new work, Faces, Places, which sees her collaborating with enigmatic French photographer, JR.
Agnès Varda Season by Sarah Chircop
“I love filming real people, I love to connect with the kind of people we don’t know so well.”
This is Agnès Varda, a restless and ever-curious filmmaker who has been quietly surpassing expectations for well over half a century. Moving effortlessly between drama, documentary, short films and art installations, her work has been acclaimed for being simultaneously empathetic and mischievous, capable of referencing the deeply personal with rich historical details at the same time. Varda’s cinema is nevertheless surprisingly accessible. It never seeks to lay claim to her characters, stories, or the worlds they inhabit in the manner we usually associate with the boys’ club of the French New Wave – a movement of which she is its godmother. However, unlike her peers, she wasn’t a film buff when she first started out. Instead, she looked to her imagination, taking inspiration from literature, music, art, single images and of course real life, to fuel her vision. She even coined her own term for her unique storytelling techniques – ‘cinécriture’ or ‘film-writing’ — her assertion that every aspect of the filmmaking process is deliberate, and that each and every detail must come together to create a ‘well- written’ film.
But where to begin with her 60-year career? The best way is at the beginning, a very good place to start. And with Spazju Kreattiv’s next retrospective, you will be able to dive into the world of Varda with one of her earliest films Cléo from 5 to 7 (1962), a seemingly simple story on the surface, but of course one which is anything but. This is Varda’s second feature and is just one example of the kind of complex women that inhabit her fiction films. Cléo from 5 to 7 tells a real time story of singer Cléo, who is awaiting the test results of a biopsy and is doing everything she can to distract herself in the meantime all whilst grappling with her idea of her own mortality. Varda skillfully captures Paris at the height of the 60s; this New Wave classic is also a profound reflection on the inner life of a woman fearing death.
Vagabond (1985) on the other hand is an emotional hard-hitting film that mixes fact with fiction to tell the story of Mona, a young and defiant drifter, a beautiful rebel without a cause, whose tragic story is a fine example of Varda’s ability to capture and reveal the sadness and sorrow of the human condition. Sandrine Bonnaire, who won Best Actress César for her portrayal as Mona, captures the splintered portrait of this enigmatic woman through flashbacks of those who encountered her. The drama traces the last few days of the homeless drifter who, at the start of the film, is found dead in a ditch.
One Sings, The Other Doesn’t (1977) is the third film to be screened as part of this retrospective, a film that remains timeless in its themes of women struggling to claim agency over their bodies. Based on the different biographies of two female friends brought together during the struggle of the women’s movement in 1970s France, we see the women sharing their interests and intimate secrets, resulting in one helping the other to raise money for an abortion – “one is not born as a woman, one becomes one”. The friendship at the centre of this film is beautifully constructed and deals with a subject that remains all too familiar with Varda, who was personally involved with the movement.And finally, Spazju Kreattiv will also delight you with screening Varda’s latest endeavor; Faces, Places (2018). Marking a long-awaited return to filmmaking in the year of her 90th birthday, and this time forging an unexpected, cross-generational collaboration with photographer JR. The documentary sees the two embark on a road trip like no other, sharing their passion for images, making them and sharing them, Varda through the medium of cinema and JR through his outdoor installations. Using his photo-booth-truck and exploring places around rural France, the pair meet the humble residents and create large-scale portraits which they plaster across unconventional spaces. Winner of the Golden Eye Award at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, and nominated for the Best Documentary Feature award at this year’s Academy Awards, the heart-warming insight into unnamed communities is captured through Varda’s signature playful and tender manner.
Venue: Spazju Kreattiv Cinema
Price: €7 / €6 (cinema club members)
Faces Places (2018)
Tuesday, 9 October 2018, 7:30pm
Thursday, 18 October 2018, 7:30pm
Sunday, 21 October 2018, 6pm
Cleo from 5 to 7 (1962)
Wednesday, 10 October 2018, 7:30pm
Tuesday, 23 October 2018, 7:30pm
Friday, 19 October 2018, 7:30pm
Saturday, 3 November 2018, 8:30pm
One Sings, The Other Doesn’t (1977)
Thursday, 1 November 2018, 7:30pm
Sunday, 4 November 2018, 6pm