Faces Places (Visages Villages 2017)

"A playful, surprisingly powerful document of an attempt to understand France by looking closely at its people. JR and Varda travel the country, bringing the Inside Outside van with them and talking to people in small hamlets and tiny villages as they seek out good subjects — both human and architectural — for their work."
Agnes Varda is almost 90 years old and she is still making films and this one you should see .
Faces Places (French: Visages Villages) is a 2017 French documentary film directed by Agnès Varda and JR, photographer and street artist. It was screened out of competition at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival where it won the L'Œil d'or award and the Toronto International Film Festival Documentary People’s Choice Award afterwards.

 The film is a part of the “Inside Outside Project,” an art initiative in which the accomplished French street artist JR makes enormous portraits of people he meets and then pastes them onto buildings and walls, each of them reaching several stories high.

They travel in JR’s van (equipped with a photo booth and a large-format printer) to small towns in France threatened by the economic and social forces of modern life.

JR’s is a humanist artistic mission; he gets ordinary people to partake in his work, which inevitably delights them. The movie opens with scenes set in various places where, Varda and JR explain in voiceover, they did not meet.Once each describes the others’ work, and their mutual admiration, they’re off in JR’s van.

As they make their way, sometimes merry, sometimes melancholy, a double-portrait of the artists forms. It’s very moving. Varda’s sight, which served her so well so many years, is getting dimmer. At the same time she wonders why JR always wears dark glasses. This habit, she tells him, reminds her of an old friend, Jean-Luc Godard. The resemblance sets up the film’s finale, which is puzzling, heartbreaking, but ultimately celebratory. And wobbles the line between documentary and fiction so strongly that the vibrations will linger in your heart for days afterwards.


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