one-night event showing of Mur murs .
Co-Sponsored by the Women & Gender Studies Program at Canisius
Ticket Information: Free and Open to the Public
• Stop in early for FREE Breadhive granola while supplies last! •
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courtesy of Criterion Collection:
After returning to Los Angeles from France in 1979, Agnès Varda created this kaleidoscopic documentary about the striking murals that decorate the city. Bursting with color and vitality, Mur murs is as much an invigorating study of community and diversity as it is an essential catalog of unusual public art.
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“I’m not interested in seeing a film just made by a woman – not unless she is looking for new images.”
The only female director of the French New Wave, Agnès Varda has been called both the movement’s mother and its grandmother. The fact that some have felt the need to assign her a specifically feminine role, and the confusion over how to characterize that role, speak to just how unique her place in this hallowed cinematic movement—defined by such decidedly masculine artists as Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut—is. Varda not only made films during the nouvelle vague, she helped inspire it. Her self-funded debut, the fiction-documentary hybrid 1956’s La Pointe Courte is often considered the unofficial first New Wave film; when she made it, she had no professional cinema training (her early work included painting, sculpting, and photojournalism). Though not widely seen, the film got her commissions to make several documentaries in the late fifties. In 1962, she released the seminal nouvelle vague film Cléo from 5 to 7; a bold character study that avoids psychologizing, it announced her official arrival. Over the coming decades, Varda became a force in art cinema, conceiving many of her films as political and feminist statements, and using a radical objectivity to create her unforgettable characters. She describes her style as cinécriture (writing on film), and it can be seen in formally audacious fictions like Le bonheur and Vagabond as well as more ragged and revealing autobiographical documentaries like The Gleaners and I and The Beaches of Agnès.
Here is a curated selection of links shared on our Facebook page for additional insight/information:
8/31/15 – Today via The Criterion Collection: “Just a casual courtyard chat between Agnès Varda and Guillaume-en-Égypte” – link
9/2/15 – Need an Agnès Varda primer prior to our upcoming series on the grandmother of the French New Wave at Canisius College this fall? Helen Carter’s summery overview in Senses of Cinema serves as a perfect introduction! – link
9/3/15 – Wonderful interview w/ Agnès Varda on her home on the rue Daguerre, Paris via Sight & Sound – link
9/17/15 – “Unlike the prominently situated billboards that plaster the freeways with crass messages to WANT, DEMAND, and more importantly BUY, these public artworks offer a fascinating counter-movement to this commercial blare, and this was how they first caught French director Agnès Varda’s attention during her time in the city.” Mallory Andrews, MUBI’s Notebook – link
9/24/15 – Great news! Two Agnès Varda rarities – Jane B. and Kung-Fu Master – are headed for a US re-release thanks to Cinelicious Pics! – link
9/28/15 – “Agnès Varda: The Punk-Spirited Grand-Mère Terrible” via An Other magazine – link
9/29/15 – Agnès Varda on Coming to California – link
9/30/15 – “A largely observational compendium of L.A. county street art, graffiti, and the large-scale murals peppering architecture from Venice Beach to the farthest reach of the inner city, the film plays at once as a geographical topography of a city in transition and a meditation on artistic expression and its sociological outgrowth.” Jordan Cronk on Mur Murs, Slant Magazine – link
10/5/15 – “Whereas Documenteur yields few explanations, Mur Murs incessantly pursues them. A mural is never just a painted wall in Mur Murs but a picture with a story, the outside of a particular inside. Varda is not content with the adage that Los Angeles is a city of surfaces; at each stop on her tour of the city, she peels back a facade to reveal what lies beneath, creating in effect a Los Angeles travelogue turned inside out.” Sasha Archibald, East of Borneo – link
10/6/15 – Agnès Varda shares credit for making an impact on feminist cinema in Kelly Gallagher’s riot grrrl infused THE HERSTORY OF THE FEMALE FILMMAKER! – link
10/9/15 – Via The Criterion Collection today: “Agnès Varda keeps popping up in the most unexpected places. The indefatigable eighty-seven-year-old filmmaker stopped by our offices this week, along with her daughter, Rosalie, to say hello and fill us in on what she’s been up to. We’re happy to report that this legend of the French New Wave—and beyond—shows no signs of slowing down.” – link
10/12/15 – Violet Lucca speaks with Agnès Varda back in 2011 for Film Comment. – link
10/18/15 – At 87, Agnès Varda continues to make the news with a new video essay by Kevin B. Lee on her work found over at Fandor – link