Thursday, June 29, 2006

Les glaneurs et la glaneuse (2000)

English Title: The Gleaners and I
Dir: Agnès Varda
Available on DVD

When Agnès Varda set out to make a film about gleaners, she had no idea how far the idea would ultimately take her. In her quest to capture the stories and lives of those who live off the fruit of the land that most of us have discarded as trash, she extrapolated the idea to other types of gleaners including herself as a gleaner of images. This film is an often very personal look at the filmmaker and her subjects. While she still maintains some distance and impartiality there are moments of deep intimacy. During her journeys between shooting locations, she captures images of her own hands and while many of her tangents seem unrelated, you soon realize that they all connect together for a higher meaning.

The Gleaners and I is a good example of how video can really work for a filmmaker. Angès is able to leave behind the large crews required for film shooting and get more personal with her subjects. There is a courage and tenacity found in Agnès’ work that few other filmmakers today posses. Varda is one of the most influential female filmmakers of all time (generally thought of as one of the top three) and this film is just another reason why she deserves all the attention she has.


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