Agnès Varda

The Gleaners and I

The Gleaners and I

Agnès Varda’s extraordinary late-career renaissance began with this wonderfully idiosyncratic, self-reflexive documentary in which the French cinema icon explores the world of modern-day gleaners: those living on the margins who survive by foraging for what society throws away. Embracing the intimacy and freedom of digital filmmaking, Varda posits herself as a kind of gleaner of images and ideas, one whose generous, expansive vision makes room for ruminations on everything from aging to the birth of cinema to the beauty of heart-shaped potatoes. By turns playful, philosophical, and subtly political, The Gleaners and I is a warmly human reflection on the contradictions of our consumerist world from an artist who, like her subjects, finds unexpected richness where few think to look.

Film Info

Available In

Collector's Set

The Complete Films of Agnès Varda

The Complete Films of Agnès Varda

Blu-Ray Box Set

15 Discs

Ships Aug 11, 2020

$174.96

The Gleaners and I
Credits
Director
Agnès Varda
Written by
Agnès Varda
Cinematography by
Stéphane Krausz
Cinematography by
Didier Rouget
Cinematography by
Didier Doussin
Cinematography by
Pascal Sautelet
Cinematography by
Agnès Varda
Edited by
Agnès Varda
Edited by
Laurent Pineau
Music by
Joanna Bruzdowicz
Music by
Pierre Barbaud
Music by
Isabelle Olivier (Océan)
Music by
François Wertheimer
Rap by
Bredel and Klugman

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Agnès Varda

Writer, Director

Agnès Varda
Agnès Varda

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.