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Agnès Varda

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Agnès Varda and JR’s ‘Faces Places’ Is Great Because It Prioritizes Empathy

At the age of eighty-eight, legendary French filmmaker Agnès Varda teamed up with the accomplished muralist and visual artist JR to cinematically chronicle their collaborative work across the French countryside. Focusing on their intimate yet expansive task of creating large portraits of local people and places across France, the Academy Award-nominated Faces Places breaks the documentary down to its most elemental level by positioning the persistence of personal experiences and historical memory at the forefront of the film. Rather than merely celebrating the accomplishments of iconic figures or mining obscure narratives for voyeuristic fascination, Faces Places prioritizes empathy for ordinary people as a method of cathartic visibility, illuminating working-class life through beautiful photographic murals and cinematic observation. From the creation of various murals to mundane life and ordinary people to JR and Varda’s meditations on fame, friendship, and mortality, Faces Places is a film essay full of transcendent truths that set it apart as one of the most important and inventive documentaries of the last ten years.
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Agnes Varda Is Here To Remind You That You Will Die Someday

French cinema is dynamic, innovative, and aesthetically perfect, while also possessing a powerful ability to make anyone depressed after the movie ends. But that’s fine, I can handle it. Here’s a rundown of what it was like to attend the screening of their latest installment, cinematic masterpiece: Cléo from 5 to 7.
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