Wednesday, March 19, 2008

BARRELS BIG ENOUGH FOR SEMI TRUCKS

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A short excerpt from the documentary film, THE GLEANERS AND I, released in 2000 by acclaimed French filmmaker Agnes Varda.
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A review and description below for those who have not seen this inspirational film:

The French filmmaker Agnès Varda, digital camera in hand, roams around her native country recording the movements of gleaners. Traditionally, as in the archetypal Millet painting, gleaners were women who gathered the remains of the harvest; their modern counterparts are mostly scavengers, searching in dumpsters and other likely places. The French, of course, give the practice a wonderfully perverse twist-many gleaners do so by choice, disdainful of wastefulness and rampant consumerism. Varda's photographic eye is much in evidence, and her narration is both shrewd and whimsical. When she leaves a camera on accidentally, she uses the unintended footage to create a "dance of the lens cap," a filmic gleaning that acts as a perfect grace note. In French. -Michael Agger, The New Yorker

Agnès Varda, Grande Dame of the French New Wave, has made 2000's most acclaimed non-fiction film-a self-described "wandering-road documentary." Beginning with the famous Jean-François Millet painting of women gathering wheat left over from a harvest, she focuses her ever-seeking eye on gleaners: those who scour already-reaped fields for the odd potato or turnip. Her investigation leads us from forgotten corners of the French countryside to off-hours at the green markets of Paris, following those who insist on finding a use for that which society has cast off, whether out of necessity or activism. Varda's own ruminations on her life as a filmmaker (a gleaner of sorts) give her a connection to her subjects that creates a touching human portrait that the L.A. Weekly deemed "a protest film that's part social critique, part travelogue, but always an unsentimental celebration of human resilience." This Edition features the 60-minute follow-up film GLEANERS: TWO YEARS LATER.
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2 comments:

warm jet said...

very cool.
thanks.

R.T. said...

no prob. just sharing one of my favorites. glad you like.