MOVIE OF THE WEEK October 6, 2017: FACES PLACES

motw logo 1-35Celebrated filmmaker Agnes Varda is no stranger to making films about everyday, relatable people — including herself. FACES PLACES, her collaboration with photographer/artist J.R. (he’s known only by his initials), chronicles the pair’s friendship and partnership while introducing audiences to a wide range of French people, who share their communities and fascinating stories with Varda and J.R. in exchange for powerful, personalized public art installations. Continue reading…

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SPOTLIGHT October 2017: Agnès Varda, Filmmaker, Honorary Oscar Recipient, Director of FACES PLACES

“You decide you do something, then you are totally ready for things to happen.” Agnès Varda, on YouTube

agnes headsho croppedawfjspotlightsmallsmallFilm director Agnès Varda was talking about her process for creating documentaries, but she might as well have been talking about her storied career as the only female director of the French New Wave. Over her 63 years (and counting) of filmmaking, Varda has created a vast body of work composed not only of documentaries, but also short films and features. She is also an accomplished photographer. And now, at age 89, Varda has a new film and a new honor to add to her crowded list of awards and recognitions. Continue reading…

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THE BEACHES OF AGNES — Retroview by Jennifer Merin

beaches of agnes posterIn The Beaches of Agnes (Les Plages d’Agnes), the legendary French filmmaker (who directed the narrative Cleo From Nine to Five and documentary The Gleaners, among other classics) revisits her childhood, presents footage of her young womanhood and tells of the start of her career as a photographer and cinematographer, of her eventual marriage to French New Wave director Jacques Demy and motherhood, and brings us up to the present. Mme Varda is 80 years old as this film releases theatrically in the U.S. in July, 2009, and she’s still going strong. Very strong. Continue reading…

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Honoring Agnès Varda at Cannes 2015 – Quendrith Johnson comments

agnes vardaFrench New Wave Director Agnès Varda is the first female filmmaker to receive the Cannes Film Festival’s coveted Palme d’Or in the festival’s 68 year history. Varda, who turns 87 on May 30, has made a vital and lasting personal stamp on the international world of cinema and its aesthetics, and has guided many burgeoning filmmakers to self expression and successful careers. Varda’s cinema theories and practice are challenging in the best ways. Her concept of ‘cinecriture’ distinguishes the art of writing for film from from other forms of literature, and she defines filmmaking as the art of making decisions that embrace the unquantifiable factors of faith and chance. Read more>>

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On High Heels and Hollywood’s Real Heels – Brandy McDonnell comments

high-heels-45481_164x164While the Cannes Film Festival created a controversy over its rule that women must wear high heels to walk the red carpet to some of the festival’s screenings, back in Hollywood, it became clear that some industry honchos are real low down heels of the sexist and ageist variety. And actresses are getting very vocal in their protests. Read more>>

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PITCH PERFECT 2, MAD MAX and Quick Hitters re Varda, Bigelow, Holmes and more — Brandy McDonnell comments

elizabeth-banks-in-pitch-perfect-2To quote the Beyonce song used in one of Pitch Perfect 2′s musical numbers, girls do indeed run the world — at least at this weekend’s domestic box office. The musical comedy reprise about an all-girls a cappella group surpassed industry expectations to gross some $70.3 million in the US and Canada, making it the highest opening weekend earner in Hollywood history for a first time director — Elizabeth Banks, who also produced and gives a stunningly funny performance as an acid-tongued a cappella commentator. The ensemble is mostly women, and Kay Cannon wrote the script. So, Pitch Perfect scores big as a film by and about women. But there’s a feeling of deja vu…Read more>>

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AWFJ Women On Film – The Week in Women, July 3, 2009 – MaryAnn Johanson

Sixty-seven cents on the dollar would be an improvement, misogynist vampire stories suck, and Tilda takes the cinematic highroad.

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AWFJ Women On Film – “The Beaches of Agnes” – Jennifer Merin reviews

Agnes Varda reflects on her life and art in this stylish blending of archival footage, reenactments and cinematic inventions that add up to be a remarkably poignant and inspiring documentary. Yes, for Varda, life is a beach. Read more>>

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