Visages Villages Varda: The French Ruralities in Agnes Varda's Documentaries

Authors: Joseph Palis*, University of the Philippines-Diliman, Helene Ducros, University of North Carolina at Wilmington
Topics: Cultural Geography, Landscape, Europe
Keywords: film geographies, landscapes, documentaries, Agnes Varda, rurality, France
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 5:00 PM
Room: Oakley, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This paper engages with Agnès Varda’s and JR’s latest movie Visages Villages (Faces, Places; 2017) as a visual text that allows an examination of the conceptualization of the village in France as well as rural self-representation. We will highlight ways in which the different village vignettes transcend the idea of the village away from preconceived notions of rural communities and instead expand them to interrogate the "end of the village" thesis. The paper will also delve into the realisateurs’ translation of the visual world, as the relationship between Varda, whose eyesight is failing, and JR, the seer who filters the world through dark sunglasses, underscores how perception of place is moved beyond the physical into the social functionality of the village based on local economic histories and personal memories, thus leading to an understanding of the film as a monument honoring not only rural past generations but also Varda herself and the legacy she leaves in terms of keen societal observations.

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