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Entries in JR (1)

Sunday
Sep242017

NYFF: Faces Places

by Murtada

Agnes Varda, recently named one of 2017's Honorary Oscar recipients, retuns to cinemas very soon. Her latest documentary is Faces Places or Visages Villages - sounds more delicious in French, n'est pas? It's Varda's collaboration with visual artist JR to celebrate the power of images. For that it was the perfect confection to see first at NYFF. The two artists set out on a journey inside France, finding farmers, miners, dock workers and others to document and preserve in the places in which they reside and work. They don’t have a plan, they just go where luck takes them or as Varda puts it:

Chance has always been my best assistant.

Varda and JR operate their own separate cameras, but they were also recorded in their travels by multiple other cameras in both still and moving images. What we get is a delightful mix of the histories and stories of the people they meet, JR’s eccentricities (he never takes off his small rounded sunglasses), plus Varda’s grapple with her mortality (she’s 88 and has problems with her eyesight). A joy from start to finish. It’s worth the price of admission just for recreating the running in the Louvre scene from Godard’s Bande A Part (1964), with Varda’s age adding poignancy and exuberance.

Grade: B+

Faces Places screens at the New York Film Festival on October 1st and 2nd. It will be out in limited release on October 6th. On November 11th, she will be awarded the Honorary Oscar at the annual Governor's Awards in Los Angeles.