The Gleaners and I
November 18th, 2015

The Gleaners and I
Wednesday, November 18th, 2015 / 7:00pm
Canisius College Science Hall

2000 / 82 minutes / French with English subtitles / Color
Directed by: Agnès Varda
Print supplied by: Zeitgeist Films

Please join us for the fifth and final screening of our Agnès Varda series with a
one-night event showing of The Gleaners and I [Les glaneurs et la glaneuse] [2008].

Co-Sponsored by the Women & Gender Studies Program at Canisius

Ticket Information: Free and Open to the Public

• Thanks to the University of Illinois Press,
we’ll be giving away a copy of Kelley Conway’s new entry
in the Contemporary Film Directors series,
Agnès Varda, at this screening! •

• Stop in early for FREE Breadhive granola while supplies last! •

Cultivate Cinema Circle Event Sponsors:

2001 Main Street (Between Delavan & Jefferson), Buffalo NY 14208

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courtesy of Zeitgeist Films:

Agnès Varda, Grande Dame of the French New Wave, 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.”


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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.


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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 & Soundlink

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

9/29/15 – Agnès Varda on Coming to California – 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 Fandorlink

10/29/15 – “Varda may be a critically neglected filmmaker, and her work may be economically marginal in relation to the global entertainment industry. But does that give her the right to compare herself to those who are literally starving and homeless? The answer, perhaps, is that we’ve missed the point if we consider creative achievement and practical survival to be entirely separate. Less fancifully than at first appears, Varda’s notion of herself as a “gleaner” suggests the real continuity between superficially different forms of human resourcefulness – both those hailed as art, and those rarely hailed at all.” Jake Wilson, Senses of Cinemalink

11/6/15 – The Gleaners and I isn’t a scolding treatise about the shamefulness of waste, but a celebratory jig inspired by the pleasures of squeezing every last, sweet drop from a grape harvest, or giving a tossed-off bit of plastic tubing new life in a 3-D painting. At the same time, Agnès Varda tints every frame of The Gleaners and I with a kind of joyous mournfulness: When you realize life is slipping by you, you want to hold on to every scrap.” Stephanie Zacharek, Salonlink

11/12/15 – “In many respects, The Gleaners and I is a fitting culmination of the projects, ideas and experiments Varda committed herself to over the course of her career. If, as Amy Taubin has astutely pointed out, Varda’s work can be viewed as “portraits of people and places,” then The Gleaners and I serves as a kind of a gallery exhibit of precisely observed miniatures and cameo portraits (which is unsurprising considering Varda’s more recent focus on installation work).” Jesse Ataide, Fandor’s Keyframe – link

11/17/15 – In Sight & Sound‘s recent poll of the Greatest Documentaries of All Time, Agnès Varda’s The Gleaners and I was voted #8! – link

11/27/15 – David Bordwell, one of the most impacting and prolific film theorists, has published some thoughts on Kelley Conway’s new book on Agnès Varda! – link

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