Faces Places (Visages Villages)
The maestro of documentary realism, Agnès Varda (The Gleaners and I, The Beaches of Agnès), joins forces with street artist and self-styled photograffeur JR to create this funny, moving and multi-layered film, a contender for Best Documentary at the upcoming Oscars. Together, this odd couple of visual surprises take off to explore the French countryside in JR’s camera van – which not only looks like a giant camera but spits out polaroid-like posters.
Taking photos of the people they meet and pasting their huge images to village walls, the directorial duo challenge passers-by to look again at their familiar surroundings while inviting a conversation on both what art can do, and on the inner workings of the creative process.
After a gap of nine years, Varda is back with her first co-directed film, showing she’s still discovering new ways to work while approaching her tenth decade. The result is a marvellous documentary that cleverly blends still image and film and a living dialogue about what it takes to make a meaningful piece of art.